ROSEMONT, Ill. – "How did we ever win eight?" Durham Bulls manager Joe Riggins asked his players in the 1988 movie Bull Durham before answering his own question.
"It's a miracle."
DePaul interim head coach Tracy Webster could be saying the same thing, but for different reasons, as Mike Stovall hit the game winning shot with 0.7 seconds left to beat Marquette 51-50 at the Allstate Arena on Wednesday night.
The win improved the Blue Demons' to 8-10 on the season and marked the program's first regular season conference win since March 6, 2008 at Cincinnati.
With DePaul down 50-49 and 8.4 second on the clock, Eric Wallace got the rebound off a missed free-throw and pushed it ahead to Stovall, who took an off-balance 18-footer over MU's David Cubillan for the Blue Demons' first and only lead of the game.
"[I thought,] ‘Man we need this W,'" Stovall said. "I just shot the ball, and it went in." DePaul improved to 1-5 in Big East play, while Marquette fell to 2-4 in conference and 11-7 overall.
"I wanted to get the win for this guy," Webster said, pointing to senior guard Will Walker. "He's a senior, and he's been through a lot."
Walker led all scorers with 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting, and Jeremiah Kelly added 11 points for the Blue Demons.
"1000 percent credit goes to DePaul," MU head coach Buzz Williams said. "They played with great passion and great energy. They were more deserving of a win than we were."
Lazar Hayward was the only Golden Eagle in double figures, scoring 14 points, all in the first half.
The Golden Eagles had two chances to clinch the game late at the free-throw line, but Hayward and Cubillan both missed the first of a one-and-one, and DePaul hit two big shots on the other end.
"If we were to last replay the last 2 possessions, we would run the same thing and throw it to the same person," Williams said. "When we ran the press offense to get it to Lazar, it was perfect. The next time, I thought they'd switch, so we set it up for Cubillan and we got it right. I'd do the same thing again."
Marquette was held to just 18 points in the second half, and Hayward only took two field goal attempts.
"We talked about just defending," Webster said. "Being there on rotation and being aware of where men were and not giving up open looks. Our guys were aggressive, and that's what we keep talking about."
The Blue Demons won most of the hustle categories, and their 12 offensive rebounds led to 13 second-chance points. DePaul also scored 10 points off turnovers compared to MU's five.
As tough as the loss was for Marquette, the team now looks ahead to a Saturday date with Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
"It's important that we handle it in a mature way," Williams said. "We have to move on to the next day and the next game."