Saturday's match up between the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Louisville Cardinals was filled with highlight after highlight, giving the 17,508 fans in attendance a show to remember. With 12 seconds on the clock, Marquette's go-to player Travis Diener fouled out after he was called for holding Taquan Dean. The crowd was in an uproar and coach Tom Crean debated. As Diener was forced to end his last home game of the season with 14 points and stood on the sideline watching the game rather than playing in it, freshman Brandon Bell was substituted at the point position. Bell threw up a long range three pointer around the five second mark on a broken play, luckily having the ball go out of bounds off a Louisville player. Crean called a timeout and said he had hoped to get the ball in the hands of sharp shooter sophomore Steve Novak. Instead, with 2.6 seconds on the clock in the second half and the Golden Eagles down 80-78, freshman Dameon Mason caught an inbounds pass from senior Scott Merritt on the baseline and swooshed a two-point basket as he was falling after defender Alhaji Mohammed jumped into him. Mason made good on the three point play and was hoisted into the air by his teammates for leading the win 81-80 over No.25 Louisville.
"We make it interesting, don't we," Crean said. "To beat a team like Louisville twice is big for us."
Mason, who finished with 14 points which included a coast-to-coast one handed dunk, said the basket was the biggest of his career. "I was thinking about Terry (Sanders) and Scott (Merritt) (during the last Louisville timeout)," he said. "By far, at this time, just being a freshman[this] is the biggest shot."
During that timeout, Mason said all Crean told him to do was follow his shot and focus on the rim.
Novak led his team with 20 points on 5-7 shooting. Francisco Garcia scored 23 points while Dean finished with 16.
Seniors go out with a bang in last home game
In their last home game of their Marquette careers, Merritt and Sanders both finished with six points and six rebounds. Though both saw limited time in the first half due to foul trouble, Sanders was able to score four of his six total points in the first half on a tip-in basket after a Diener miss and on a 17-foot jump shot. Merritt, who scored four of his six points in the second half, battled against Kendall Dartez and Otis George in the paint helping his team record a 30-22 rebound advantage tying a game-high five defensive rebounds.Crean reaches 100th victory
Tom Crean became the fifth player in the history of the men's basketball program to reach 100 victories, making him the second coach in the program to reach this milestone in five seasons. Crean joins coaches Al McGuire (295-80), Hank Raymonds (126-50), Bill Chandler (193-198) and Mike Deane (100-55).