Needing the victory to clinch a share of the Big East regular season title, the No. 15 Marquette Golden Eagles came through with a wild 69-67 overtime win over the St. John's Red Storm on a buzzer-beater finish Saturday afternoon.
After blowing a nine-point lead with less than two minutes remaining in regulation only to trail in overtime, Marquette clamped down defensively in the final minutes to give the offense a chance to win the game with just over seven seconds remaining.
The Golden Eagles called a play for guard Vander Blue, who had scored the game-tying bucket less than a minute before, and the rest was magic:
With the Georgetown Hoyas getting at least a share of the conference title with a win over the Syracuse Orange earlier Saturday, the Golden Eagles couldn't afford a loss. Playing in MSG just days before the beginning of the conference tournament, Marquette looked awfully comfortable on the big stage.
That is, other than the final two minutes of regulation. Once a pair of free throws gave Marquette a 63-54 lead with 1:53 remaining, St. John's went on a 13-2 run through regulation and overtime.
Blue came alive at that point, though, scoring two buckets in the final minute to save his team from defeat.
While the Golden Eagles didn't have a dominant effort -- no player shot particularly well and the team committed 19 turnovers -- the effort on both ends of the floor was consistent.
Marquette shot 44 percent from the field, slightly better than the 41 percent mark posted by the Red Storm. The Golden Eagles had their issues with turnovers and blocked shots, but dominated the boards and took advantage of their opponents' mistakes.
Blue led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 16 points, plus Jamil Wilson added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
St. John's got solid efforts from Phil Greene IV (20 points on 9 of 15 shooting) and Jakarr Sampson (17 points, 8 of 14), but the rest of the team struggled from the field. Marco Bourgault was particularly bad, missing nine of his 11 attempts from three-point range.
Marquette finishes the regular season with a 23-7 overall record (14-4 in conference play), while St. John's finishes 16-14 (8-10).