Marquette was able to hold on in the late seconds of overtime against last-place DePaul Saturday, as the Golden Eagles (16-11 overall, 8-6 Big East) hold onto third place in the BIG EAST Conference.
DePaul (10-18 overall, 2-13 Big East) came into this game having lost nine games in a row, as well as one of their best players in Cleveland Melvin, who was recently dismissed from the team.
The Blue Demons struggled early in both halves; especially so in the second half as the Golden Eagles took a 15-point lead when they went on 14-2 run. But the Blue Demons responded with a 25-10 run midway through the second half to bring them within striking distance late in the game.
Down one with 22.1 seconds to play, DePaul’s Billy Garrett Jr. drove to the basket, missed, and MU’s Jamil Wilson got the rebound and was sent to the line.
Wilson knocked down two to put Marquette up by three, but Garrett Jr. made an uncontested three-pointer with 2.6 seconds let to send the game to an extra session.
Despite that, Marquette was able to prevail.
Both of the Golden Eagles top scorers came from the bench as Davante Gardner scored 22 and Todd Mayo added 19. Between the two of them, they shot 10-of-19 from the field and made 21-of-26 free throw attempts.
Senior forward Jamil Wilson scored 18 and had nine rebounds of his own.
DePaul was led by two of their guards in Brandon Young and Garrett Jr. Young put up a season-high 29 points while shooting 55.5 percent, while Garret Jr. had 28 with a three-point percentage of 62.5 percent.
Marquette struggled from the line in their loss to Creighton a few nights ago, but they did not back down as they got to the line 39 times and made 28 of those free throw attempts.
Marquette continues to beat teams they should. But, the one problem that Buzz Williams and his club just cannot seem to get over is the lack of a signature win. However, the next four games for the Golden Eagles all hold the possibility of attaining that status. Especially March 2 at Villanova as MU tries to keep their NCAA tournament chances alive.
Marquette will travel back home to take on Georgetown on Thursday, while DePaul goes for their first win in over a month Tuesday against Seton Hall.