MILWAUKEE – Marquette capitalized on 22 SIUE turnovers Wednesday to down the Cougars 89-56 in nonconference men's basketball at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
SIUE has lost six consecutive games and is 4-9. Marquette improved to 9-3.
The 22 turnovers were a season-high by the Cougars and Marquette converted those giveaways into 31 points.
"It's frustrating that that continues to be an 'Achilles' heel' for us," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "We need to clean that up, talk through it and just do a little bit better with our ball control."
The Cougars started well and twice held a four-point lead in the first half. It was an 11-7 lead after a Carlos Anderson jumper with 15:18 remaining in the first half. Burak Eslik hit a pair of free throws with 12:30 to play to make it 15-11 SIUE.
"Our guys started the game and came in with the right mindset," Harris said. "I continue to applaud them for staying the course, continuing to push and continuing to believe in each other."
Marquette took a 20-17 lead, but Christian Ellis tied the score with a tip-in and a free throw after a foul with 7:41 left.
Spurred by three SIUE turnovers, the Golden Eagles went on a 10-0 run over the next 1:56.
"I thought we did some really good things on both ends," Harris said. "The turnovers were the difference."
Marquette finished the half on a 25-7 run to lead 45-27 at the break.
SIUE scored the first five points of the second half, but never mounted a serious comeback.
The Golden Eagles were able to get to the basket, scoring 50 points in the paint.
"Typically that would be an alarming number," Harris said of the points in the paint. "Marquette being who they are it didn't bother me quite as much. We came in with the mindset of trying to take three's away from them. They only made two (three-pointers) in the first half. If we cut our turnovers down we're still in the game, even though they were getting points in the paint."
SIUE shot 45.8 percent (11-24) in the first half, but were just 9-26 in the second half. They shot 40 percent (20-50) for the game.
Marquette was led by Haanif Cheatham's 19 points. Sam Hauser scored 11 points and pulled in nine rebounds.
The Golden Eagles were 32-60 (53.3 percent) from the field.
SIUE outrebounded Marquette 31-29 for the game.
The Cougars have a week off before playing host to Missouri S&T in their final nonconference game Dec. 28 at Vadalabene Center.