Heartbreak no more

Senior Guard David Cubillan scored a season-high 18 points as Marquette defeated Georgetown, 62-59.

MILWAUKEE – Marquette held on to win a nail-bitter, 62-59, against No. 12 Georgetown capturing their first Big East conference victory of the season at the Bradley Center on Wednesday night.

For the third straight time in as many games, the Golden Eagles found themselves clinging to a marginal lead against a ranked foe with a little over a minute left.

This time, the result was different.

Marquette made their free-throws, played sound defense down the stretch, and closed out the game against a very good opponent.

Making up for two previous sloppy offensive possessions, Lazar Hayward came up with a steal on the defensive end and Marquette called time out in the front court, holding a slight 58-57 advantage with 1:21 left. Coming out of the time out, Dwight Buycks missed a three-pointer, but Hayward scrapped for the rebound and was fouled. Despite having an off-night (4-of-16 from the field), the senior forward step to the line and made both of his free-throws to put the Golden Eagles up three, 60-57, with 57 seconds left.

Unfazed by this, Georgetown worked their offensive-set and turned to Austin Freeman for an answer. The junior guard proceeded to beat his man off the dribble, as he did multiple times throughout the night, and laid the ball up and in to bring the Hoyas back within a point at 60-59 with 35 seconds left.

Then with 29 seconds remaining, it seemed as if Marquette was once again destined for heartbreak as Maurice Acker missed the front end of a one-and-one and Hoya center Greg Monroe corralled the rebound.

Tonight, however, fate was on Marquette's side.

Once again Georgetown turned to Freeman, but this time he failed to deliver as he missed a tough jumper in the lane. Jimmy Butler battled for the rebound, secured possession and was immediately fouled with seven seconds remaining. Making up for lost opportunities at the charity stripe against Florida State and West Virginia, the junior forward knocked down both of his free-throws to give the Golden Eagles a three-point cushion at 62-59. From there, Chris Wright missed a tough three-point attempt as time expired sending the Golden Eagles and the home crowd into a state of jubilation.

"We were still aggressive just like we were against Villanova, but the difference was [that] tonight we were able to get stops down the stretch," said Head Coach Buzz Williams. "I do think our composure has increased and gotten better."

Marquette was led by David Cubillan who scored a season-high 18 points on six-of-six shooting from behind the three-point arc. Hayward and Buycks also finished in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. And while the senior forward struggled from the field – a 4-of-16 effort – Hayward still managed to record his third double-double of the season with 11 rebounds as the much shorter Golden Eagles out-rebounded the Hoyas 31-28.

"He's the man, he can really shoot it," said Butler of Cubillan. "He was hitting everything in practice and I'm so glad it carried over into the game for him – it didn't [really] surprise me any."

Interestingly enough, the opening twenty minutes were marked by the play of the two players wearing the number 10 – David Cubillan and Greg Monroe.

Cubillan had one of his more impressive showings at Marquette, pouring in four three-pointers in route to 12 point first-half points. Monroe, on the other hand, did not have as stellar a half. The All-American candidate was held to a mere two points on one-of-three shooting and seemed to be bothered by the Golden Eagles tendency to double team him in the low post. The Hoya center finished the game with a season-low nine points.

"He's the main part of their offense," Butler noted of Monroe. "You have to front him in the post and you can't let him catch the ball where they can get into their offense."

Throughout the first half, but early on in particular, head coach Buzz Williams kept his players fresh by frequently subbing them in and out. Nine Golden Eagles saw action and Marquette led by as many as eight points at the 11:42 mark. Georgetown was able to stay close, thanks in part, to Julian Vaughn. The junior forward was the benefactor of several pick and rolls that left him alone in front of the basket. Vaughn finished the opening period with eight points on four-of-six shooting from the field. Marquette took a 32-30 advantage into the locker room.

While the first half saw Marquette out front for its entirety, the second half was much more of a see-saw battle as the score was tied eight times and the lead changed hands on six occasions. Vaughn opened the half for the visitors with a lay-in after securing great position in the low-post. Over the next three minutes of the contest, both teams exchanged free-throws and baskets with the Golden Eagles holding a one-point advantage.

The Hoyas got their first lead of the night at the 16:40 mark after Freeman converted both free-throws resulting from a technical foul assessed on Marquette's bench. Down the stretch, it was a battle of polar-opposites as a much bigger Georgetown team did their damage in the paint, while a smaller Marquette scorched the nets from distance – shooting 50 percent from downtown in the final twenty minutes.

"I think what we do every single day in the culture that we live in and the culture that we work in is based on execution, based on being tough, [and] based on grinding it out," said Buzz. "We don't ever talk about ‘we're small' or ‘we play seven or eight guys' or ‘we're tired' we just wake up and go to work."

Georgetown was led by Freeman who scored a game-high 20 points to go along with six assists and three rebounds in 38 minutes of action. Vaughn was the only other Hoya to reach double figures, finishing with 12 points.

Marquette returns to action Saturday at 1 pm CST as they travel to Villanova to take on the Wildcats for the second time in seven days.

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