Davante Gardner scored 25 points to help No. 17 Marquette beat Southern 63-56 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
The senior forward, Marquette's leading returning scorer and the top sixth man in the Big East last season, was 5 of 7 from the field and made 15 of 20 free throws. He was a point off his career high of 26 points set last season against Syracuse.
Todd Mayo added 20 points for Marquette. The Golden Eagles won their 26th straight home game, the second-longest current streak in the NCAA. Marquette also won its opener for the 13th year in a row.
Malcolm Miller led Southern with 14 points, and Tre Lynch and YonDarius Johnson each had 11.
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