Tyler Kolek Has School-Record 18 Assists To Help No. 7 Marquette Rout Depaul, 105-71

Marquette's Stevie Mitchell goes up for a shot against DePaul's Keyondre Young during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Marquette's Stevie Mitchell goes up for a shot against DePaul's Keyondre Young during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — The only suspenseful part of Marquette’s blowout victory over slumping DePaul was whether Tyler Kolek would remain on the floor long enough to break the Golden Eagles’ 29-year-old game assists record.

Kolek got it with plenty of time to spare.

The reigning Big East player of the year had 18 assists, Kam Jones scored a career-high 34 points and No. 7 Marquette bounced back from its most-lopsided loss with a 105-71 runaway triumph Wednesday night.

Tony Miller set the previous school record with 17 assists against Memphis on March 4, 1995. Kolek approached that mark a couple of times last season and knew he had a chance Wednesday after having 10 assists in the first 12 minutes and 13 by halftime.

“My teammates are saying it to me," Kolek said. “I see it, too. And then at that point, it's like, ‘Let’s go for it.'”

Marquette (20-6, 11-4 Big East) returned to form four nights after an 81-53 loss at No. 1 UConn that snapped the Golden Eagles’ eight-game winning streak. DePaul (3-23, 0-15) has lost 15 straight by an average margin of 24.1 points.

Kolek got his record while committing only two turnovers. He attempted only two shots and finished with three points.

“You could tell by watching Tyler play tonight and all year long and his whole career since he got here, he is a special player for a lot of ways, but one of the reasons is he gets a kick out of giving his teammates shots,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “He really enjoys that part of the game.”

Kolek tied the record by finding David Joplin for a dunk that gave Marquette an 89-48 lead with 9:54 remaining. Kolek got his 18th assist on an inbounds pass to Jones, who sank a 3-pointer that made it 95-52 with 8:31 left.

Jones’ basket also enabled him to surpass his previous career scoring high of 31, which came in a 91-57 triumph at Georgetown on Feb. 3. Jones shot 12 of 15 overall and made 8 of 10 3-point attempts.

Kolek and Jones both left the game for good with just over eight minutes left.

Oso Ighodaro added 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Marquette, which shot 59.5% from the floor as a team.

DePaul's Jaden Henley and Elijah Fisher had 19 points each. DePaul had 22 turnovers and only six assists.

DePaul has lost its last 27 Big East regular-season games, though the Blue Demons did beat Seton Hall in the first round of last year’s conference tournament. DePaul’s last Big East regular-season victory was a 73-72 win over Xavier on Jan. 18, 2023.

Marquette never trailed and owned a 31-8 lead less than nine minutes into the game, thanks to an early 24-2 run. Jones scored 10 points during that spurt and Chase Ross capped the run by converting a steal into one of his three first-half dunks.

“They wanted to deliver a message," DePaul interim head coach Matt Brady said of Marquette. “They played with tremendous energy, a lot of enthusiasm. And I thought their defense was demoralizing to my group. It was hard to run offense.”

BIG PICTURE

DePaul: Even at full strength, the Blue Demons would have been overmatched in this one. They were at even more of a disadavantage without Jalen Terry and K.T. Raimey, who average a combined 15 points per game. Terry was out with an ankle issue and Raimey was in concussion protocol. A frustrating night culminated with the ejection of Mac Etienne after he picked up a flagrant-2 foul with 7:45 left.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles opened a three-game homestand by going over the century mark for the first time since a 106-54 victory over Central Arkansas on Dec. 28, 2019. Marquette has won 24 of its last 25 Big East home games.

UP NEXT

DePaul: Hosts Georgetown on Saturday.

Marquette: Hosts Xavier on Sunday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball