The Germantown, Wis., native wasted no time making a huge impact in the Golden Eagles’ 78-71 victory, scoring 19 points, pulling down nine rebounds and altering seven shots on defense, blocking five.
“Luke (had) not played a prominent role in any college game, and for him, after a year and a half, to come in this first game and be a presence on both ends of the floor and really give us an amazing spark was a terrific performance,” coach Steve Wojciechowski said postgame.
Fischer makes a lefty hook vs ASU
While he did struggle at times getting over in the zone, his stout man-to-man defense gave Marquette an anchor that jumpstarted its transition game. The Golden Eagles racked up 20 points off the fast break and 42 in the paint, showcasing a real presence under the basket for the first time this season.
For most of the contest, Fischer was matched against six-foot-10 junior Eric Jacobsen, the Sun Devil’s second leading scorer. Jacobsen finished the game with eight points and four fouls, as Arizona State picked up 26 points in the paint.
Following Fischer’s substitution, Marquette went on a 10-2 run to take a 12-6 lead. He established himself right out of the gates recording his first two blocks during the run.
Luke Fischer makes a righty hook
After he mishandled his first touch, Fischer slammed home his first field goal at 14:33 to a loud ovation.
“Obviously there were some jitters at first,” Fischer said. “I know I bobbled the first pass I got, but after that the game kind of settled in, and I was able to just play basketball.”
Fischer finished the half with 10 points and seven boards, as Marquette headed to the locker room with a 43-32 lead. His lone assist was an impressive one, as he showed good awareness popping a Matt Carlino pass back out to the graduate senior for a pretty, wide-open 3-pointer with 3:33 left in the half.
In the second half, Fischer again set the tone quickly with another dunk 15 seconds in. After his free throw with 8:39 remaining put Marquette up by 20, a mini-run by the Sun Devils cut the deficit to 14.
Luke Fischer makes the zone more effective
Out of the ensuing timeout, Fischer connected on a contested turnaround jumper with three seconds on the shot clock to reestablish momentum. Thanks to moments like that, the Golden Eagles bended but didn’t break in the final 20 minutes, maintaining control and closing out the win.
While Fischer shared the floor at times with both senior Juan Anderson and junior Steve Taylor Jr., it was Taylor Jr.’s playing time that took the biggest hit. With just one foul, Taylor Jr. played only eight minutes over which he grabbed 2 rebounds but didn’t score.
Overall, Fischer’s presence facilitated the offensive rhythm Marquette had desperately been searching for and provided a much-needed boost to a program dealing with the departures of Deonte Burton and John Dawson at the end of the fall semester.
“We knew that we would come together as a team eventually, and now I think we finally have,” Fischer said. “We realize that no matter how many guys we have, we’re going to play with those guys.”