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Marquette hangs on, tops No. 15 Georgetown

An ugly battle throughout, Marquette hung on late to beat No. 15 Georgetown, 49-48, Saturday afternoon at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Vander Blue and Davante Gardner led the Golden Eagles with 12 points apiece, while Trent Lockett neared a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

After Davante Gardner drained two free throws to give Marquette a 49-48 lead with 8.3 seconds to play, Trent Lockett fouled Greg Whittington in the corner with 2.3 seconds remaining. Whittington would make the first two, but Buzz Williams called a timeout to ice the sophomore forward, and he missed the potential tying free throw long, with Trent Lockett grabbing the rebound to seal the win.

With Marquette leading 47-46 inside one minute, Georgetown’s inbounds pass went off Markel Starks’ leg to give Marquette possession. Forward Nate Lubick drew a charge on Vander Blue, but Jabril Trawick’s 3-pointer from the left corner was off the mark after Jamil Wilson cut off a drive from Otto Porter.

Both teams struggled out of the gate, with Marquette missing six of its first eight shots, topped by Georgetown going 1-of-9 to open the contest. Georgetown, which entered Saturday averaging just 66.6 points per game, had won games scoring 46 and 37 points, respective, earlier in the season.

Vander Blue played the role of zone-buster to shake Marquette out of its funk, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers to give the Golden Eagles a 13-6 advantage midway through the first half, its largest lead before halftime. At the under-4 media timeout, Blue had accounted for 10 of Marquette’s 15 points, and the rest of the team was shooting 1-of-16. Trent Lockett came alive for Marquette on the wing, however, adding a 3-pointer and layup in the closing minutes.

It was worse for the Hoyas early on, and at the same media timeout had made 5-of-20 shots, including 1-of-7 from sophomore Otto Porter, the team’s leading scorer. They rolled into halftime with momentum, however, connecting on four of their last six shots — including a 7-2 run to end the half — that cut Marquette’s lead to one, 20-19, at intermission. A Greg Whittington 3-pointer of a Junior Cadougan turnover in the closing seconds capped the run.

The two teams went back-and-forth to open the second half as the pace picked up. Marquette opened 4-of-5 from the field, and Georgetown’s Markel Starks countered with seven straight to open the second half. A quick 6-0 spurt from Marquette made it 32-27 at the 13:42 mark. The two teams traded baskets again, with neither team leading by more than four the final 13 minutes.

A Todd Mayo 3-pointer from the right wing inside seven minutes broke a 42-all tie, but both offenses reverted back their first half staleness, going more than three minutes without a point.

Two Otto Porter free throws cut the lead to one, 45-44, and a Markel Starks steal and basket tied things at 46 after Davante Gardner went 1-of-2 from the free throw line. Gardner would split another pair of free throws inside two minutes to make it 47-46, which was the score until Georgetown’s final possession inside 20 seconds.

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