LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - No. 15-ranked Michigan fell behind Marquette by nine at the break, and, despite clawing back within 48-47 early in the second half, dropped its first decision, a 79-65 loss to the Golden Eagles from the Big East.
Down nine to start the second half, Michigan opened the second stanza with a 12-4 run. Manny Harris hit for seven quick points, Darius Morris found the bottom of the bucket on a drive up the right side, and Laval Lucas-Perry hit from long range.
As was the case for most of the night, though, Marquette answered the Wolverines run with one of their own. Jimmy Butler and Lazar Hayward anwered with 10 straight points as Marquette pushed the lead back to back to 58-47.
Harris finally ended the Marquette run, but the closest that U-M would get the rest of the way was within six points. Zack Gibson made it 62-56 with a three-point play and a a layup with 7:32 to go. Marquette scored the next six though. Maurice Acker found the bottom of the net from deep to help push the lead back to double digits.
Michigan got it down to single digits just once following the Marquette run, a 70-61 lead with just more than three minutes to go, but Jimmy Butler quickly pushed the lead back to 11 with a pair of free throws.
The Golden Eagles ran out the clock finishing off the Maize and Blue from the free throw line as Michigan dropped a 79-65 decision.
Over the first 20 minutes, the Wolverines, a team who's offense is predicated on the long ball, found out just how difficult it can be to overcome a strong opposing effort from deep. Marquette surged to a 44-35 lead on 5-of-11 shooting behind the arc.
Darius Johnson-Odom led the Golden Eagles with 12 points in the first half, the bulk of them coming as Marquette strung together a 13-1 run after the teams battled to a 15-15 score midway through the frame. A pair of Johnson-Odom free throws followed by a triple pushed the MU lead to 24-15. A Lazar Hayward jumper then made it 28-16.
By the 4:11 mark of the half the Maize and Blue trimmed that 12-point deficit to just five. Stu Douglass snapped the Marquette run with a three-point play. Zack Novak added a lay up on a back door cut, and Sims and Harris each connected from the free throw line. Matt Vogrich cut it to 36-27 with his first three-ball of the game with 6:44 to go. Harris then flushed home yet another back door cut and DeShawn Sims hit a fadeaway from the corner.
Marquette, though, again battled back and extended the lead to 44-35 before the half. Dwight Buycks hit a pair of buckets, and Maurice Acker ended Marquette's first half scoring with another three-pointer.
Marquette shot 57% in the first half in opening its nine point lead.