Pretty much every basket fell Marquette's way on Saturday as they defeated Pittsburgh, 79-69, to move into a tie for the top spot in the Big East standings.
Marquette, who normally rely on their stingy defense to upend opponents, could relax a little bit on defense this time around as every roll and bounce on the rim went their way as the stayed undefeated at home on the season.
The Golden Eagles used an 11-2 run to close out the half and take a 13 point lead. Junior guard Vander Blue led the way with 14 of his 19 points in the first half as the Golden Eagles held off the Panthers for the win. He was one of four Marquette players to score in double digits.
Pittsburgh finished the game shooting 42.4 percent from the field but couldn't keep pace with Marquette. The Panthers defense, one of the best in the nation, just couldn't stop the Golden Eagles as they shot 61.5 percent as a team in the first half and finished the game 56.5 percent from the floor. Blue finished 7-8 from the floor and a perfect 2-2 behind the arc. It was the first time in 49 games Pittsburgh has allowed over 75 points.
Forward Lamar Patterson led Pittsburgh with 19 points, but Marquette figured out how to defend him for a long stretch of the game. After scoring 10 points in the first 11 minutes of the game, Patterson wouldn't get another field goal until eight minutes into the second half.
With the win, the Golden Eagles move into a tie atop the Big East standings with Georgetown at 9-3. Marquette has been the bane of Pittsburgh's existence this season. The Panthers were one of the hottest teams in the nation, winning eight of their last nine games, but they haven't figured out an answer for Marquette, who beat the Panthers 74-67 in overtime on Jan. 12.
Marquette has now won 23 straight games at home, the fourth-longest streak in the country.