Fischer Shines in Debut as MU Tops ASU, 78-71
Dec. 16, 2014
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Center Luke Fischer had 19 points and nine rebounds in his first game for Marquette, and Jajuan Johnson added 22 points to spark the Golden Eagles' 78-71 win Tuesday night over Arizona State.
The 6-foot-11 Fischer, a transfer from Indiana, provided a sorely-needed presence in the middle for the undersized and short-handed Golden Eagles (5-4). He blocked five shots and helped alter many other possessions in the paint against the Sun Devils (6-4).
Duane Wilson had 19 points and formed a dangerous duo with Johnson in the open floor. Marquette held a 20-10 advantage on the break.
Gerry Blakes scored 20 points for Arizona State, which shot 38 percent. Kodi Justice added 12 points.
The Sun Devils narrowed a 21-point deficit in the game's closing minutes, but couldn't overcome a subpar night from the field.
Fischer played 13 games last season for Indiana before transferring. Until Tuesday, Fischer's last action was on Dec. 22, 2013, when he scored 10 points in 19 minutes against Kennesaw State.
Eligibility rules required Fischer to sit out until after the fall semester. It didn't take long for the big guy to make his presence known in his Marquette debut.
Entering the game for the first time 2 1/2 minutes into the first half, Fischer couldn't handle a pass into the post on his first offensive touch. But he looked at ease on the defensive end from the start corralling rebounds and he quickly got comfortable around his own bucket.
Before Tuesday, Marquette didn't have an active player taller than 6-foot-7 Steve Taylor, Jr. on its roster.
Luke Fischer made his Marquette debut after sitting out the 2013-14 season and the first nine games of 2014-15. He posted career highs of 19 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks in 33 minutes after entering the game at the 17:32 mark in the first half.
Fischer's five blocks are the most by an MU player since Marcus Jackson rejected six shots against Memphis on 1/13/05.
The Golden Eagles shot 57 percent tonight on 28-of-49 shooting, marking their most efficient shooting performance of the season.
In 15 first half minutes Fischer tallied 10 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks.
After Fischer entered the game with the score knotted at 4-4 the Golden Eagles went on a 15-7 run to make it 19-11 into the second media timeout at 11:37 featuring six points and three blocks from Fischer.
A Gerry Blakes three-pointer cut the Sun Devils deficit to two, 21-19, at the 8:57 mark in the first half. Following this Arizona State was held to just three points over the next four minutes, while Duane Wilson scored seven of his 19 points to give Marquette a 36-23 advantage at the 4:23 mark.
Marquette's halftime total of 43 marks its highest output in a first half this season. Its 11 point lead (43-32) after 20 minutes of play was also its largest advantage heading into the locker room this year.
The Golden Eagles continued their strong defensive play in the second half, limiting Arizona State to just three points within the first 7:28. MU used the Sun Devil drought to lead by 20 at 55-35 after a Duane Wilson jumper with 12:52 to play.
The Golden Eagles have posted a -8.7 rebounding margin this season, while the Sun Devils have pulled down 34.7 per game. Despite Fischer's nine boards the Golden Eagles lost the rebounding battle 34-32. Eric Jacobsen posted 10 rebounds for ASU.
Fischer's dunk at the 10:44 mark gave MU a 60-39 lead, its largest of the season.
The Sun Devils used an 11-4 run behind a Willie Attwood three to cut their deficit to 64-50 at the 6:58 mark, but two Fischer jumpers extended the Golden Eagles lead to 70-52 with 3:48 to play.
Blakes went 4-of-8 from three on his way to a team-high 20 points for the Sun Devils.
Jajuan Johnson started the game hitting his first five shots and finished the game with a new career-high 22 points on 10-of- 16 shooting. This surpasses his previous high of 20, which he set against UT Martin on 11/14.
Savon Goodman entered the game at the 8:07 mark in the first half for the first time this season for the Sun Devils after sitting out last year. Goodman, a sophomore transfer from UNLV, posted 3.6 points per game in the 2012-13 season for the Rebels. He finished with seven points in his Arizona State debut before fouling out.
Arizona State was limited to its second lowest shooting percentage of the year going 24-of-62 (39%). It is the third lowest percentage Marquette has surrendered this season.
Duane Wilson's 17 free throw attempts set a new career-high and is the most attempted by a MU player this season. He finished 9-of-17. His 19 points are his second highest output of his career.
Marquette assisted on a season-high 23 of 28 made baskets after assisting on its first nine buckets of the game.
MU's 20 fast-break points is its highest total this season.
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