Marquette 79, Pittsburgh 69By Andrew Wagner, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Feb 16, 2013 3:40 PM EST
MILWAUKEE -- No. 18 Marquette pulled back into a tie atop the Big East Conference with a 79-69 victory over No. 16 Pittsburgh on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Vander Blue led the way for the Golden Eagles (18-6, 9-3 in the Big East), scoring 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting to pace an offensive attack that shot 56.5 percent from the field, made 5-of-11 3-point shots and hit 22-of-29 free throws. Davante Gardner added 14 points and Jamil Wilson had 13, both off the bench, for Marquette, which has won three of its last four games and drew even with idle Georgetown for first place in the conference. Lamar Patterson made 7-of-12 shots and led the Panthers (20-6, 8-5) with 19 points -- 10 of those coming in the first half -- and pulled down five rebounds. Tray Woodall was the only other Pittsburgh player to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points to go along with eight assists, and Dante Taylor added eight points off the bench. Blue and Lockett combined for 21 points in the first half, making 9-of-10 shots, as the Golden Eagles shot 61 percent for the half. Marquette used a 2-3 zone featuring big men Chris Otule and Davante Gardner to hold Pittsburgh to 39.5 percent shooting from the field and eight points in the paint. After falling behind by 10 points with 7:22 left in the first half, Pittsburgh went on a 9-3 run and got within four on Cameron Wright's layup to make it a 31-27 game with 4:39 left. Marquette came back with an 11-2 run to take a 42-29 lead into halftime. The shooting problems continued for Pittsburgh in the second half, as the Panthers fell behind by as many as 18 but again got to within single digits while their three-game winning streak came to an end. NOTES: Marquette honored its 2002-2003 team, which won the regular-season Conference USA championship and advanced to the Final Four. The Golden Eagles beat Pittsburgh, 77-74, in the Sweet 16 that year. ... Saturday marked the last regular-season conference meeting between the teams. Pittsburgh is leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference next season and Marquette will join other Big East Catholic schools in forming a new conference. Marquette leads the all-time series, 9-8. ... The loss was only the second for Pittsburgh since losing to Marquette in overtime on Jan. 12 ... Marquette has won 23 consecutive home games, the fourth-longest streak in the nation.
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