Marquette tops Notre Dame in key Big East clash
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Jamil Wilson scored 19 points and Chris Otule had 16 on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting effort as No. 22 Marquette edged 21st- ranked Notre Dame, 72-64, in a Top-25 Big East showdown at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Trent Lockett registered eight points, four rebounds and four assists for the Golden Eagles (21-7, 12-4 Big East), who have won two straight and four of their last five games overall. Marquette also clinched a double-bye in the conference's championship tournament for the second straight year.
"Chris changes the complexion of our team when he's this dominant as he was today." Marquette coach Buzz Williams said of Otule and his squad's depth. "When all of our 10 guys show up, then it becomes really difficult for me to get guys in-and-out."
The Golden Eagles finished their home portion of the schedule a perfect 16-0 this season and now have the nation's second-longest active streak with 25 straight victories dating back to last season.
Jerian Grant had 21 points, seven boards and five assists for the Fighting Irish (22-7, 10-6), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Eric Atkins and Zach Auguste scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, in defeat.
Wilson's jumper 7 1/2 minutes into the second half made it 53-38. Notre Dame, though, used a 6-0 spurt to get within nine, 56-47, with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.
Marquette, however, managed to keep Notre Dame just out of striking distance as the game came to a close. The Irish never got any closer than eight points until Grant nailed a triple with 29 seconds left to close the gap to six, but the home team still held a 70-64 edge.
A pair of Wilson free throws on the ensuing Marquette possession secured the victory for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette jumped out to an early 18-6 advantage six-plus minutes into the contest. The lead grew to 31-16 on Todd Mayo's triple with 8:15 remaining, and the home team took a 41-27 margin into the break.
Notre Dame shot a mere 37 percent (10-of-27) in the first half compared to 64.3 percent (18-of-28) for the Golden Eagles.
"I give them a lot of credit," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "When they get two buckets in the paint to start, that just sets a heck of a tone and it seemed like it was so hard for us to score."
Marquette has a 7-5 lead in the series versus Notre Dame in Big East matchups, but trails 80-37 in the all-time series ... Notre Dame shot 7-of-25 from behind the arc and 38.3 percent from the floor ... Marquette's bench outscored the Irish by a 32-20 margin.
03/02 18:35:53 ET