Neither team was able to grab a lead larger than six during the first half of action. A Jerry Smith layup with just over six minutes remaining in the opening frame gave the Cardinals a 24-18 advantage. However, back-to-back three-pointers by Marquette evened the score at 28-28 with less than four minutes remaining before the break and the Golden Eagles took a 33-30 advantage to the locker room.
David Padgett connected on 8 of 9 free throws during the first half and led the Cardinals with 10 points. Jerry Smith added 9 points on 4 of 6 first half shooting. Marquette point guard and leading scorer Dominic James was held to just two first half points.
While the first 20 minutes was a back-and-forth battle, the second 20 minutes of action was all about runs.
The Golden Eagles exploded on a 14-2 run to open the second half and open the largest lead of the game at 47-32 with 16:00 minutes remaining in the contest. The Cardinals responded with an 10-0 run to pull narrow the gap 47-42 with less than 10 minutes left.
Marquette's James' sparked a 13-4 run with a trio of three-pointers that pushed the visitors lead to 60-46. A three-pointer by Edgar Sosa, followed by a dunk from the freshman point guard pulled the Cardinals within seven at the 3:10 mark.
Marquette converted their free throws during the final minutes and handed Louisville it's second Big East Conference loss.
"We played about as good as we could, but they just hit one big shot after another," said U of L head coach Rick Pitino following the loss. "You have to give them credit, they played a great game."
Four Cardinals scored double figures in the loss, led by David Padgett's 18 points. Edgar Sosa scored 13 points, while Jerry Smith added 11 and Terrence Williams 10.
Freshman Derrick Caracter saw his first game action since being sent home by head coach Rick Pitino just prior to the holiday break and scored two points on the night.
Up next for Louisville is a Saturday afternoon match-up in Chicago against Big East Conference foe DePaul.