[The Bradley Center began to shake about one second after this picture was taken.]
Jamil Wilson played one of his best games of the year for Marquette, pouring in 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Had he not been in foul trouble for most of the second half, Wilson could have done even more damage. Davante Gardner chipped in with 13 points and Deonte Burton scored another 11 for Marquette. Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with 16 points and seven rebounds.
It was another hard-fought victory for the Golden Eagles, who desperately need every win they can get to make a case for their NCAA tournament resume.
"I think we have a lot of season left," Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. "Every game, wherever we play, if we're going to have a chance to win, it's going to end up being a grind."
[Mayo drove down the lane in 2H]
Mayo said the key to his heroics comes from getting into a rhythm. "
I'm a streaky scorer, I just got to get in a good rhythm," Mayo said. "When that rhythm comes, I feel like I can't really be stopped.
Marquette had another slow start in the first half against the Bulldogs. Both teams didn't score a point until after the first media timeout. Marquette and Butler shot 36 and 37 percent respectively and Butler led 25-23 going into the locker room.
Jake Thomas vs Butler
The Bulldogs led by as many as 10 points with 13 minutes left in the second half before Mayo initiated the rally with a pull-up three to cut the lead to 43-39. Butler responded when Dunham sank an and-one lay-up to extend its lead back to seven, but Burton and Chris Otule countered with lay-ins and Mayo hit a runner in the lane to make it a 46-45 game with 9:54 remaining in the back-and-forth tilt.
Trailing by three, Mayo nailed another triple to tie the game at 50, but Marquette couldn't quite pull ahead. Seconds later, Dunham answered with a three of his own to put Butler back on top, 53-50.
Jake Thomas picked a timely moment to nail his only three of the game, sinking the game-tying shot one possession later. Butler went on a quick 4-0 run to take a 57-53 lead, but it was the last lead the Bulldogs would have in the game.
After Davante Gardner, who had 13 points and five rebounds, put home a lay-up to cut Butler's lead to 57-55, Mayo put up seven unanswered points to give Marquette its first lead since 2:12 in the first half.
"When the chips are down, it seems as though you can always count on him (Mayo)," Williams said. "I wish he was more consistent. If he can play like that and shoot 70 percent that changes our team for sure."
Six of Mayo's seven points during the span came from lay ups and the other lone point came on a free throw following a foul on Mayo's third lay-up. Despite shooting 7-of-10 from the floor, Mayo said he likes to drive the lane as much as possible.
"I'm only shooting 27 percent from three in conference play," Mayo said. "I can hit shots, but I like attacking more."
Marquette has a week off before heading to Newark, N.J. to take on the Seton Hall Pirates, who the Golden Eagles beat by one point at home last month.