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Blue’s buzzer-beater gives Marquette share of Big East crown

Vander Blue scored a team-high 16 points, including a buzzer beating lay-up in overtime, to lead Marquette to a 69-67 victory over St. John’s, and a share of the 2013 Big East regular season championship.

Jamil Wilson scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Davante Gardner added 10 and six of his own.

The game started off as a tight affair, until St. John’s built an eight-point lead in the middle of the second half after a 9-2 run. It started with Marc-Antoine Bourgault’s 3-pointer with 11:01 left to make it 17-13. Two jumpers from Jakarr Sampson and a fast break lay-up from Phil Greene increased the lead to 23-15 for the Red Storm with 8:16 remaining.

Sampson picked up his second foul with 6:37 left in the half, and was St. John’s leading scorer with eight points. He didn’t play the rest of the half and the Red Storm subsequently shot just 1-of-12 from the field until halftime.

Trent Lockett started Marquette’s comeback with just under four minutes left by hitting a driving lay-up, and then the next time down Jamil Wilson followed that up with one of his own to cut St. John’s lead to 25-23. After Chris Otule maneuvered his way down low to a little four-foot jumper, Junior Cadougan hit a three-pointer to give Marquette a 28-25 lead with 40 seconds left.

The Golden Eagles outscored St. John’s 9-0 in the final four minutes of the first half, and 13-2 over the final 7:28.

Marquette didn’t take their foot off the pedal to start the second half. Cadougan hit a jump-shot, and then 14-seconds later Vander Blue finished a fast break with a contested lay-up off a steal. St. John’s committed a turnover after a full timeout, and Juan Anderson turned that into a 3-pointer for Marquette. Blue hit jumper the subsequent possession, and Marquette was out to a 9-0 run in the first 1:54 of the second half.

They did not stop there, answering a dunk by St. John’s Christian Jones with a lay-up by Anderson and another fast break lay-up off his second steal in just less than three minutes. The Golden Eagles were up 41-27 at that point with 17:09 left to go.

St. John’s just wouldn’t go away and make it easy for Marquette, though. They went on a 14-3 run of their own to get within three of Marquette at the 12-minute media timeout. Sampson finished off the run with a put back dunk off a missed lay-up by Jamal Branch to make it 44-41.

Marquette didn’t lead by more than seven until Wilson hit a 3-pointer with 4:41 left to extend the advantage to eight. After Greene answered with a jumper, Blue followed up with another three to make it 60-51 at the four-minute media timeout with 3:45 left.

It was a nine-point game with 1:53 left after Gardner hit two free throws, but Greene answered with a lay-up of his own. The sophomore guard for St. John’s had a game-high 20 points.

Bourgault hit a three with 1:37 remaining, and then the Red Storm got within just two points after a lay-up by freshman guard Felix Balamou with 1:04.

After Cadougan missed a lay-up, Branch hit a lay-up to tie the game at 63 with 27 seconds left. The Red Storm finished the game on a 9-0 run in the final two minutes.

On Marquette’s final possession of regulation, Gardner turned the ball over trying to feed Wilson in the post. Branch missed a half-court shot for the win, and it was off to overtime at Madison Square Garden.

Sampson started overtime by giving St. John’s the lead with a jumper from the right baseline, but Wilson tied it up for Marquette with a lay-up after three offensive rebounds by Otule, Cadougan, and himself.

Chris Obekpa blocked a runner by Cadougan, the forward’s seventh of the game, and followed it up with a lay-up on the other end to make it 67-65 for St. John’s with just under two minutes left. Blue answered with a highly contested lay-up with 48 seconds left to tie it up. He finished with a team-high 16 points.

Marquette called a timeout with 7.4 seconds left and the ball. Blue drove to the right block and put up a floater which fell right over the extended hand of Obekpa. It fell with no time left on the clock, and the Golden Eagles clinched a share of the Big East regular season championship.

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