It wasn't always pretty -- hell, it's debatable whether it was ever pretty -- but, courtesy of a cold-blooded 3-pointer by Matt Carlino with 10 seconds to play, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles survived a slugfest with the cold-shooting Bluejays of Creighton and claimed a 53-52 win tonight at the Bradley Center.
In the first half, Luke Fischer got the scoring started with a bunny in the paint, but Marquette went ice cold over the next 7 minutes, missing five 3-point attempts as the Jays grabbed a 9-6 lead. But then Sandy Cohen came off the bench to hit a triple, and then Duane Wilson made another, and then -- catch me, I'm swooning -- Derrick Wilson added two more, and THEN Matt Carlino hit another on the break, and suddenly Marquette was up 21-11. And Marquette's early shooting woes were nothing compared to the slump Creighton suffered after Rick Kreklow canned a jumper at the 12:02 mark of the first half: over the next 9 minutes, the Jays went an incredible 0-15 from the floor -- this after shooting roughly 85% from the field in last season's game in Milwaukee -- and could only manage a single Avery Dingman free throw in that span. Creighton wasn't exactly flummoxed by MU's 1-3-1 zone; they got plenty of open looks, but just couldn't find the range at all.
But despite that frosty showing, Marquette couldn't quite run away and hide with this one. After Carlino's jumper gave MU a 14-point lead at 26-12, Creighton put home its last three 3-point attempts for the half, and YOUR Golden Eagles had their lead shaved to just 28-21 at halftime. Carlino led the way in the opening half with 8 points, De. Wilson had 6 on the aforementioned -- still swooning -- two 3s, plus 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal, and Juan Anderson had 4 points and 6 boards.
The second half, was ... well, there's really no polite way to say this. The second half was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, at least until the last 15 seconds of the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Duane Wilson had Marquette's lead at 41-33 with 12 minutes to go, but from there, MU couldn't do anything. Over the next 10 minutes, the Golden Eagles didn't make any of their attempts from the floor and could only muster five free throws -- three from Duane Wilson, two from Carlino -- and Creighton took the lead on a 3-pointer from the wing by Isaiah Zierden with 3 minutes left. Duane Wilson's layup finally broke the drought from the field and drew MU within two with 90 seconds to play, and Marquette got a new lease on life when Will Artino traveled with 20 seconds left.
After a timeout, Derrick Wilson hustled the ball up the floor and handed the ball off to Carlino, who took a step to the left and promptly drained his third 3-pointer of the game with 11 seconds to go and sent the faithful home happy -- both because of the win and because there wasn't overtime. Carlino led everybody with 19 points (6-10 from the field, 4-4 from the line), Duane Wilson added 17, and the two of 'em scored every single point of Marquette's 25 in the second half.
With the win, Marquette improves to 10-6 on the year and 2-2 in the conference, while the Jays -- who were somehow ranked in the Top 25 in November -- fall to 9-9 and 0-5.
Until tomorrow, then, this is your post-game jubilation thread.