It wasn't always pretty, but YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles sent seniors Matt Carlino, Juan Anderson, and Derrick Wilson out as winners in their final game in Milwaukee, clamping down on the cold-shooting Blue Demons of DePaul and securing a 58-48 win this afternoon at the Bradley Center.
The first half played out much like you'd expect a game matching the 7th-place and last-place Big East teams to play out: Marquette started the day with five missed shots and two turnovers, and the Demons came up empty on their first five attempts from the floor until a personal 5-point run from Jamee Crockett got DePaul off the schneid. But then Carlino and Luke Fischer went to work for Marquette, with Fisch putting up 4 points and Carlino hitting two from distance to give MU an early 10-8 lead.
DePaul completely went in the tank after Crocket's lay-in knotted the score at 10 at the 12:25 mark of the first half: the Demons didn't score again until Durrell McDonald's layup with 6:42 to play in the half, and after Myke Henry hit a jumper 40 seconds later, DePaul went scoreless for another five minutes until Henry tipped in his own miss with 59 seconds left. Marquette didn't exactly blow the game open, though: while Fischer continued to do work (12 first-half points) and Steve Taylor, Jr. continued to be a man possessed on the boards, Duane and Derrick Wilson were held scoreless, Jajuan Johnson managed 2 points, and Anderson tallied a single free throw. At the half, Marquette was left holding a comfortable but not commanding 28-19 lead.
The second half saw MU quickly extend the lead thanks to another Carlino 3-ball and two throws from Fischer, but once again Marquette couldn't quite manage to put the game out of reach. Five points from Rashaun Stimage drew the Demons within 7, and the lead stayed in single digits until a pretty give and go lay-in for Carlino pushed the advantage to 11 with 10 minutes left. From there, Marquette kept DePaul at arm's length until Carlino's fifth and final 3-pointer of the day gave Marquette a 13-point lead with 5 minutes left and put this one to bed.
Carlino led all scorers with 20 points though it took him 17 shots to get there, but what the hell, it's Senior Day, it's not like anyone was gonna throw up the stop sign. Fischer did man's work in the paint all day and finished with 17 and 9 to go along with 3 blocks. In their last games in the Bradley Center, Anderson had 5 points and 6 boards, while Derrick Wilson had 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and one recovery from what looked like a very dicey ankle injury in the second half.
With the win and Creighton's loss to Xavier, Marquette is the 9-seed in the upcoming Big East tournament. MU will face the floundering Pirates of Seton Hall on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The winner there draws Villanova, who limped to a 105-68 win -- featuring a 43-10 run over the final 13 minutes of the game -- over St. John's in Philly today.
Until then, this is your post-game jubilation thread.