Junior Cadougan’s second half heroics went to another level Tuesday night.
The senior point guard drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the game to overtime, and Marquette got clutch baskets in an 82-76 overtime win over Connecticut in the teams’ Big East opener.
It was the first 3-pointer of the game for Marquette, which had missed its first 14 until that point. A Vander Blue 3-pointer gave Marquette a 74-72 lead it wouldn’t lose, and four Trent Lockett free throws down the stretch iced the game.
Cadougan and Davante Gardner finished with 18 points apiece, while Vander Blue added 13 in win No. 10 for the Golden Eagles. Shabazz Napier had 29 points in the loss, with fellow guard Ryan Boatright contributing 16 of his own.
Down one in the closing seconds, Marquette opted not to foul with an approximate five-second differential between the shot and game clock, and a Ryan Boatright’s floater with 5.9 seconds left extended UConn’s lead to three, 69-66. But Cadougan, who had made four 3-pointers before tonight, played hero, shaking Boatright on the right wing before draining the 3 for the tie.
Marquette led by as many as 10 in the second half, but Shabazz Napier’s 19 points after halftime – including 11 straight at one point – helped fuel the Huskies’ comeback. Napier and Boatright had 26 of their team’s 42 points in the second half.
The Golden Eagles shot better than 54 percent in the second half, making up for a 10-of-33 performance before halftime. Gardner’s 12 points led the way in the first half, while freshman Steve Taylor added six of his own in extended minutes due to foul trouble.