Markus Howard didn't approach his national-best scoring average, but Marquette didn't need it to earn a 73-65 nonconference victory over Kansas State on Saturday night in Manhattan, Kan.
Howard, who entered the night averaging 26.0 points per game, finished with 19 points. Junior forward Jamal Cain came off the bench to contribute a career-high 17 points to go with nine rebounds, while senior forward Sacar Anim added 13 points for Marquette (7-2).
Kansas State (5-3) received 14 points from junior guard Cartier Diarra, but leading scorer Xavier Sneed was limited to 25 minutes due to foul trouble. The senior forward finished with 11 points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field as the Wildcats shot 32.3 percent for the night.
Kansas State asked Sneed, junior guard Mike McGuirl and sophomore guard Shaun Williams to take turns guarding Howard, who shredded the Wildcats for 45 points last year when Marquette knocked off Kansas State 83-71 in Milwaukee.
Howard, who missed Wednesday's game against Jacksonville due to a concussion, didn't take his first shot until the 15:37 mark of the first half -- when he buried a 25-foot pullup jumper in transition to give Marquette the lead for good. Two minutes later, he swished a 20-footer from the corner with Williams in his face.
Howard finished the first half with 10 points, two assists and four turnovers, while sinking his only two 3-point attempts -- but Marquette couldn't have built its 39-26 halftime lead without the marksmanship of others.
His teammates went 5 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half, which included 2-for-2 showings by Cain and sophomore guard Greg Elliott.
Kansas State pulled within 30-25 with 2:57 left in the half on freshman forward Antonio Gordon's layup, but Howard canned a 3-pointer and Cain hit both of his treys to push the margin to 39-26 by the break.
When Howard picked up his third foul and hit the bench with 16:47 to go, Kansas State took it as a sign to make a move.
The Wildcats pulled to within 45-42 on freshman guard DaJuan Gordon's layup with 13:57 left, which inspired Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski to return Howard to the floor.
Kansas State got as close as 45-44, but Howard canned a 3-pointer and Cain cleaned up a Howard miss with a soaring tip-in to restore a 52-44 lead. Howard left again after picking up his fourth foul with 6:25 to go, but the Wildcats couldn't get closer than six.
--Field Level Media