MILWAUKEE, WI (WSAU) The Marquette men’s basketball team moved to within a half-game of first place in the Big East Conference, with a 74-to-71 home victory over Syracuse last night.
Davante Gardner scored a career-high 26 points, just two days after Marquette coach Buzz Williams benched him for playing poorly against Villanova. Todd Mayo hit a pair of three-pointers during a 15-to-2 Marquette run in the second half, and Gardner put the Golden Eagles in front for good by hitting a jumper in the lane with just over five minutes left.
The 12th-ranked Orange got to within two points with one second left, but Vander Blue made a free throw with two-tenths-of-a-second left to seal Marquette’s victory.
C-J Fair had 20 points for Syracuse, which has now lost three-of-its-last-five.
The Orange are 10-and-5 in the Big East and 22-and-6 overall. 22nd-ranked Marquette snapped a two-game losing streak, and is now 11-and-4 in the conference and 20-and-7 overall. They’ll host Notre Dame on Saturday.
In other men’s play tonight, Wisconsin hosts Nebraska, and U-W Green Bay entertains Milwaukee. The Marquette women play at Providence.