Staring down a three-game losing streak and a sub-.500 Big East record, the Marquette Warriors were tougher down the stretch than the Syracuse Orange, taking home a resounding, surprising, exhilarating monkey-off-their-back 76-70 victory on National Marquette Day.
The sold out Bradley Center crowd watched Jae Crowder lead MU with 25 points and seven boards .. but it was the pair of Jimmy Butler three-pointers in the games's final five minutes and a key Chris Otule block in the games closing moments that secured the clutch victory.
With Marquette clinging a 60-59 advantage with just about four minutes to play, Butler nailed a CLUTCH three-pointer as the shot clock expired to push the MU lead 63-59 with 4:05 remaining.
At the 2:29 mark, Syracuse tied it up and the clear thought going through Warrior Nation was .. "here we go again."
Not. So. Fast.
JFB and DJO connected on back-to-back 3 pointers to push the MU lead to 72-66. With MU holding a 73-68 lead in the game's final 40 seconds Otule delivered a clean block on a Scoop Jardine layup to preserve the lead. All told the Warriors were ferocious down the stretch, delivering a 10-4 run in the game's final two minutes to secure the 76-70 win. As DJO dribbled out the final seconds, the Bradley Center was rocking a well earned victory on National Marquette Day.
Marquette shot an impressive 52% from the floor this afternoon and made a laudable 24-33 from the free throw line while the Orange attempted just 14 freebies connecting on just eight.
While Crowder led with 25, Jimmy F. Butler finished with 19 points and Darius Johnson-Odom added 17 on just seven shot attempts (7-7 from the free throw line). Dwight Buycks turned in a solid floor game with six points, eight assists and five boards.
With the victory MU improves to 14-8 overall and 5-4 in the Big East.
Clutch. Seriously clutch.
- Box Score
- AP recap + podcasts of Buzz, Boeheim, DJO and JFB.
- Rosiak on the clutch MU win.
- MU's win has the Cuse teeting on absolute collapse.