GLADSTONE - With one of its leading scorers leaving five minutes into the game with flu-like symptoms, Marquette was forced to turn to their bench early.
Luckily for the Redmen, Cam Grant checked in and netted eight quick points, as he helped propel Marquette to a 70-39 Great Northern Conference victory over Gladstone on Monday.
"We kind of had to adjust on the fly and Cam Grant came in and carried us for about six minutes in the first half and really was able to open the lead up for us," said MSHS head coach Brad Nelson. "He's been waiting for his opportunity and I told him you're going to get it, it's just a matter of what time and what situation, and tonight he was the guy we needed to go to."
Paul Gerard photo
Gladstone’s Jake Peterson (34) goes for a lay-up as Marquette’s Bradley Brow (10) defends during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Gladstone.
Grant replaced usual starter Larry Burnette five minutes into the first quarter. The senior guard responded to his opportunity by draining a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game to put the Redmen up 12-7 with just under three minutes left in the first quarter. His stellar play carried over into the second quarter as he forced two Gladstone turnovers and netted the Redmen's first five points.
Gladstone's Jake Peterson scored to stop the Marquette run but Marquette's Andrew Nyquist responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Redmen ahead 32-11.
Marquette finished the game with shooting 21-of-35 from inside the arc, while connecting on eight 3-pointers against Gladstone's two-three zone.
Gladstone 9 7 11 12 - 39
Marquette 21 15 20 14 - 70
Gladstone - Ballard 5, Stenson 3, Mahoney 1, Hunter 9, Dykowski 2, King 3, Groleau 2, Jurek 2, Peterson 6, Olesak 5, Pederson 1; FT: 3-6; F: 9; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Olesak 1, Ballard 1, Hunter 1.
Marquette - Nyquist 18, Riopelle 4, Brow 7, Bashaw 6, Grant 8, Leadbetter 6, Jones 2, Grazulis 12; FT: 4-8; F: 11; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Nyquist 3, Leadbetter 2, Grant 1, Brow 1.
"We wanted to play a zone because they're better than we are, that's a better team than we are and we were hoping they wouldn't shoot the ball so well, and they did, to their credit," said Braves head coach Dale Hongisto.
"Their guards are good and it's not like their guards are 5-foot-6 or anything, they've got 6-foot-1 kids out there shooting the lights out and handling the ball really well."
Nyquist, the Redmen's starting point guard netted a game-high 18 points. Nelson had high praise for the senior and third year varsity player.
"He's kind of in my opinion, underrated as far as how good he is," he said. "He controls the basketball game better than anybody that I've seen so far this year. He knows when to push it, he knows when to back it out when we need a good shot, and that's what you look for in a point guard."
The Braves fall to 5-7 overall and 1-4 in the GNC. Marquette improves to 11-0 and 5-0 league. The Redmen host Escanaba on Friday in a match-up of the top two teams in the conference. Gladstone hosts Kingsford, Friday.
Hongisto said the Braves aren't going to let the loss linger.
"We're moving forward, we're not looking back," Hongisto said. "We've got Kingsford here on Friday and we've got no choice but to win that game, absolutely no choice, losing is not going to be an option on Friday."