Graduate senior Matt Carlino buried a game-winning triple with just 11 seconds on the clock, and Creighton's Will Artino couldn't convert on a potential game-winning layup at the other end as time ran out. Carlino and redshirt freshman Duane Wilson led the way for the Golden Eagles with 36 points combined.
[Matt Carlino launches a 24 foot winner]
Game officials delayed Marquette's celebration for a few moments after time expired, but video reviews confirmed Carlino's shot was indeed taken from behind the line.
Carlino said his only thoughts while taking the shot were "to make it."
"That's how we drew it up, but you don't see it going in until it happens," Carlino said. "(Creighton) battled and when a team goes up that late, the chances of you winning the game are pretty low. I've hit game-winners before, but not like that. That was the best one by far."
[Carlino had 19pts and 3 assists vs Creighton]
Carlino and redshirt freshman Duane Wilson led the way for the Golden Eagles with 36 points combined. The duo scored all 25 points Marquette put up in the second half.
While both teams slogged through what was an ugly contest offensively, Marquette's zone defense put forth one of its more tenacious performances so far this season.
[Carlino pictured here and Duane Wilson were the only MU players to score in the second half.]
Creighton's leading scorer, Austin Chatman, returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the second half of the Bluejays' 68-67 loss to No. 19 Seton Hall with an injury. Chatman played 35 minutes, but scored only two points, dished five assists and turned the ball over twice.
The fact that coach Greg McDermott's squad lost 65 percent of its scoring from last season continued to hurt the Bluejays. After changing his starting lineup just 10 times over his first four seasons at Creighton, McDermott sent out his seventh different lineup of this season Wednesday night.
Steve Wojciechowski gave redshirt sophomore Luke Fischer just his third start in seven games, but foul trouble and stout defensive work from Artino limited the sophomore substantially.
[#40 Luke Fischer drew significant attention down low from Creighton defense.]
Fischer scored right out of the gates, flipping in a feed from Derrick Wilson over Artino. He was then called for an offensive foul on Marquette's second possession. After a missed 3-pointer from Duane Wilson, Artino used a double move to score over Fischer and put the Bluejays on the board.
Marquette started cold from the field missing seven of its first eight shots, suffering through the first of several scoring droughts. Trailing 9-4 early, Marquette's zone defense clamped down, jumped passing lanes, limited Creighton's shot opportunities and set up the transition game.
Juan Anderson cleaned up a miss from Steve Taylor Jr., inside, and Sandy Cohen III connected on a deep 3-pointer to tie the game with 12:33 left in the first half.
The Golden Eagles took their first lead since their first possession on a 3-pointer by Duane Wilson, then, Derrick Wilson's unprecedented back-to-back treys from the near and far corners put Marquette up seven. Carlino sent the BMO Harris Bradley Center into a frenzy with the team's fourth consecutive 3-pointer to open up a 21-11 lead.
The 17-2 run changed the tone of the game and shifted momentum heavily in Marquette's favor, but the Golden Eagles fell into another dry spell, missing their next five shots. Marquette stayed zeroed-in on defense, however, and eventual back-to-back jumpers from Carlino, including his second 3-pointer, helped it to a 28-21 halftime lead.
Two late 3-pointers in the closing minute of the first half quickly cut what was a 13-point deficit to a three-possession game giving Creighton some life heading into the break."I thought we should've been up more at half," Wojciechowski said. "I felt like we had been playing better than the score indicated."
Despite forcing just four Bluejay turnovers on four steals in the first 20 minutes, the Golden Eagles held Creighton to 26.7 percent from the field. Marquette managed a respectable 15 of 39 attempts, but they would have to battle even harder to hold on the second half.
Luke Fischer picked up his third foul just over a minute into the second half, causing Wojciechowski to quickly return him to the bench. In his 25 minutes on the floor, Fischer ended up with more fouls (three) than points (two).
"They did a great job of packing in the paint and closing down some of the things we were looking for," Wojciechowski said. "Everytime he caught it today, it seemed like there were seven guys around him, but teams are going to do that."
Clinging to a five-point lead, Marquette continued to frustrate the Bluejays while struggling at the offensive end to rebuild its advantage. Finally, after trading buckets with Toby Hegner, Duane Wilson buried another triple to bring the Golden Eagles' lead to 41-33.
Hegner connected on his second 3-pointer to bring Creighton back to within three points just under the 10-minute mark. Out of the ensuing timeout, Marquette couldn't find the shot it wanted and at the other end Artino hit Avery Dingman under the basket to cut it to 41-40.
The Bluejays took the lead after a missed shot deflected in off the entanglement of Anderson and Devin Brooks with just under seven and half minutes to play.
[#1 Duane Wilson scored 17 pts, shooting 3 for 6 from three pt.]
Duane Wilson tied the game again, making one of two free throws after being fouled on a transition layup attempt. The deadlock was broken by two more free throws from Duane Wilson with 4:08 remaining.
After a few minutes of gritty, back-and-forth play, an Artino layup put Creighton up by four points with just over a minute to play.
Carlino quickly cut it back to a two-point deficit with a jumper, and Artino traveled on a drive in the paint on Creighton's next possession. That gave Marquette the ball with 21.6 seconds left and set up Carlino's heroics.
"We had a play with a couple different options," Wojciechowski said recalling the shot. "When the ball goes in, everyone looks smarter."
[MU changed up the 1-3-1 trap defense with this 2-3 match up with #1 Duane Wilson and #5 Sandy Cohen spreading the court]
The 3-point struggles continued for the Bluejays as they knocked down seven of 26 from downtown. Creighton came into the contest shooting just 28.1 percent from beyond the arc over its then-five-game losing streak.
Marquette survived a second half in which it turned the ball over 10 times and allowed the Bluejays to shoot 48 percent from the field. Thanks to timely defensive stop after stop, however, the Golden Eagles were able to offset their own streaky offense.
Derrick Wilson continued his improved all-around play in his 100th consecutive game for Marquette. The senior tallied six points, five assists and three steals, while the Golden Eagle's other captain, Anderson, added four points and nine rebounds.
Marquette beat the Bluejays for the 30th time in Milwaukee and earned its first win in three tries against McDermott. The victory was the Golden Eagles' 26th in their last 29 conference games at the Bradley Center.