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Marquette 60, Rutgers 54

The SportsXchange

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Marquette's schizophrenic play on the road continued Tuesday night, this time against a lower echelon Big East Conference opponent.

Trailing the majority of the game, the No. 15 Golden Eagles survived a major scare from a scrappy Rutgers (13-15, 4-13) team and came away with a 60-54 decision at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

Marquette (22-7, 13-4) is now at .500 on the road in the Big East at 4-4 and 4-7 overall away from the Bradley Center, where it has claimed 25 straight wins.

Marquette didn't grab the lead for good until there was only 3:00 left to play. Jamil Wilson's 3-pointer from the top of the key snapped a 52-52 tie. It was Marquette's first lead since it opened the night 2-0.

Jerome Seagears countered with a basket for Rutgers to make it 55-54 with 2:35 to go, before Marquette iced it with free throws.

Junior Cadougan hit one from the stripe to make it 56-54 with 1:31 to go, followed by two from Vander Blue at 13.9 and a pair from the line by Davante Gardner at 4.5 seconds to cap off the 10-2 run.

Rutgers didn't score a basket during the final 2:35 of the game.

Blue led Marquette with 22 points. Rutgers, which has lost five straight, received 11 points from Myles Mack and 10 points from Seagears.

With just one game left in the regular season, a trip to New York to face St. John's on Saturday, the Golden Eagles nearly passed up a golden opportunity for a chance at its first Big East crown. Marquette is 13-4 in the conference, tied for second with Louisville behind Georgetown (13-3).

Rutgers put together one of its finest halves of the season, taking a 31-21 lead into intermission. The Scarlet Knights received scoring from two unlikely sources in Jerome Seagears and Derrick Randall, who dropped in six points apiece.

Seagears averaged 5.9 points on the season and Randall got just 1.9 points off the bench in limited time.

Marquette closed to within 16-13 on a 3-pointer from Steve Taylor Jr. midway through the half before Rutgers went on a 10-4 burst to increase the lead to 26-17. Randall scored four in the run.

Taylor tossed in seven points for Marquette before leaving the game midway through the half, grabbing his knee. He returned later in the half.

Rutgers shot 58 percent (14-of-24) from the floor, while Marquette was just 10-of-28 (35.7%).

NOTES: Marquette is assured of the coveted double-bye when the Big East Tournament commences next week in New York City. Since the Big East expanded in 2005-06, Marquette is the only school in the conference to advance to at least the quarterfinals of the championship in each of those seasons. ... Entering the game, Rutgers guard Myles Mack led the Big East and ranked fifth in the nation in free throw percentage (.904). ... Marquette junior guard Vander Blue has increased his scoring average from 8.4 per game in 2011-12 to 14.0 in 2012-13.
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