Marquette guard Markus Howard joined elite company Friday, scoring 51 points in a victory over USC in the Orlando Invitational to become only the third major conference player to record a 50-point game in three consecutive seasons. The other two: sharpshooters Wayman Tisdale (Oklahoma, 1982-85) and Pete Maravich (LSU, 1967-70).
Howard is the only Division I player in the past 20 seasons with multiple 50-point games.
He became only the fourth player in major conference history with 40 points on consecutive days. He joins Maravich, Johnny Neumann (Ole Miss) and Bob Pettit (LSU).
"We're playing for something bigger," Howard said about his individual accomplishment following the Golden Eagles' 101-79 victory. "I said not to lose focus on what we came here to do. We came here to try to win a championship and that's all we came here to do."
Howard set a tournament record for the second consecutive game after a 40-point performance in a 73-63 victory over Davidson in the first round on Thursday in Florida. The previous mark was 38, set by Marquette's Matt Carlino against Georgia Tech in 2014.
"Just another incredible performance," Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. "It's the best we've played offensively. Obviously, when you have a guy score 50, the offense is going to look better. But even without the 50 points, there was a rhythm and flow to our offense."
This was Howard's first 50-point effort in a game that didn't go into overtime. He played only 32 minutes, the fewest in a 50-point game by a major conference player in the past 25 seasons. Howard scored No. 50 with 5:36 left when he made a free throw following a layup to complete a 3-point play.
Marquette (5-1) advanced to the Orlando Invitational championship game with the victory. The Golden Eagles will meet No. 5 Maryland on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.