ROSEMONT, Ill. — Forward Davante Garner scored seven of his team-high 22 points in overtime as Marquette held off DePaul for a 96-94 Big East victory on Saturday at Allstate Arena.
Gardner’s two free throws with 32 seconds left gave the Golden Eagles the winning points as they opened a 95-89 lead.
Blue Demons guard Durrell McDonald cut the deficit to 95-92 with a baseline 3-pointer with 18 seconds showing, but Golden Eagles guard Derrick Wilson put the game out of reach at 96-92 with a free throw with 13 seconds left.
DePaul guard Brandon Young scored on an uncontested layup seven seconds later but a late steal and potential game-winning buzzer-beater by McDonald fell short.
Marquette (16-11, 8-6) has won four of its last five. DePaul (10-18, 2-13) dropped its season-high 10th straight.
Guard Todd Mayo had 19 points, forward Jamil Wilson had 18 and guard Chris Otule added 12 for the Golden Eagles.
Young scored a game-high 29 points, freshman guard Billy Garrett had a career-high 26 and McDonald added 13 for DePaul.
Gardner gave Marquette an 80-79 lead when he hit the first of two free throws with 30 seconds left in regulation. He missed the second and DePaul regained possession and called a timeout with 22 seconds left.
Garrett drove the lane but missed his shot with 8.1 seconds left and fouled Wilson, who pushed the lead to 82-79 with two free throws. Garrett replied with a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds showing to force an 82-82 deadlock and overtime.
DePaul shook off an 0-for-10 shooting start to make a game of it, trailing 44-41 at halftime.
The Blue Demons went without a field goal for the first 6:24 while Marquette opened an 8-1 lead. The Blue Demons broke the drought with Garrett’s 3-pointer at the 13:26 mark. The Golden Eagles also shot poorly in the same span, going 3-for-8.
Young led the charge back, scoring 10 of DePaul’s next 16 points as it battled to a 20-20 tie with 8:02 showing.
But Marquette went back ahead on Gardner’s three-point play and led by as many as seven points the rest of the way. Young had a game-high 13 first-half points while Gardner had 12.
The Golden Eagles quickly pushed the lead into double digits with eight unanswered points for a 52-41 lead in a three-minute span to start the second half and extended it to 15 at 58-42 with 15:01 showing.
But DePaul slowly chipped away from there, using five 3-pointers — including two apiece from Garrett and McDonald – and nine free throws to creep back into contention.
The Blue Demons tied it at 77-77 on Young’s driving layup with 1:43 left in regulation. Garrett’s layup 56 seconds later forced a 79-79 tie.
NOTES: Saturday’s game opened a final Big East stretch for DePaul, with three of its final home games at Allstate Arena. … The 114th meeting between the programs is the longest of any series for DePaul and No. 2 all-time for Marquette (the Golden Eagles have played Wisconsin 120 times). Marquette leads 69-44 and had won 11 of the last 13 meetings. … The Blue Demons’ last win was a 51-50 decision on Jan. 20, 2010, at Allstate Arena. … Golden Eagles forward Jamil Wilson earned Big East honor roll mention after averaging 20.5 points last week. … Guard Tom Mayo (10.1 points) is a candidate for the Big East sixth-man award. … DePaul entertains Seton Hall on Tuesday while Marquette is home Thursday against Georgetown.
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