Marquette overcame an 11-point deficit largely due to repeated trips to the free-throw line, where they hit 83 percent of their 35 attempts.
It looked like Marquette's home winning streak, the second-longest active streak in the nation, might be in jeopardy when the Orange jumped out to an early lead in the first half. But they couldn't keep it going, and Marquette was able to close the lead to three points at the half. The two teams traded baskets during the second half until Marquette went on a 15-2 run with close to four minutes left, taking a 61-55 lead. It was the 24th straight home victory for Marquette.
Junior guard Davante Gardner kept the Golden Eagles in the game with a career night. Gardner came into the night averaging 11.6 points and finished the game as the top scorer with 26 points, going a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
The Golden Eagles were a bit cold from the floor, only shooting 43 percent, but they were able to attack the Syracuse zone and get to the line often. Marquette finished the game with 35 trips to the charity stripe, shooting 83 percent from the line. Syracuse shot only seven free throw attempts the whole game.
C.J. Fair and James Southerland led the Orange with 20 and 15 points. Southerland was limited by foul trouble in the game, spending much of the second half on the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 12 minutes left.
A win would have helped out Syracuse's Big East title hopes, as they have one of the harder remaining schedules in the conference. Syracuse next plays against No. 10 Louisville and closes out the season on the road against Georgetown.
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