MILWAUKEE -- Davante Gardner's two free throws with 8.3 seconds left preserved Marquette's 49-48 victory over No. 15 Georgetown on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Eight of Gardner's 12 points came from the free-throw line, where Marquette hit 13 of 18 attempts, which went a long way in overcoming a 16-for-44 effort from the field and 4 of 17 three-point attempts.
A slow, plodding and often sloppy affair picked up the pace in the second half and came down to the final seconds.
Georgetown tied the game with 2:08 left when Markel Starks deflected Vander Blue's shot and took it down the court for an easy layup. Marquette took the lead back on the next possession when Gardner made the first of two free throws.
With just under a minute to play, Starks drove to the basket but was blocked out of bounds by Marquette's Trent Lockett. The Hoyas called timeout and found Starks on the inbound, but the pass bounced off his foot and out of bounds, giving Marquette the ball with 57.7 seconds to play.
Blue had just six seconds left on the shot clock when he was called for an offensive foul with 24.6 left. The Hoyas had little trouble crossing midcourt against Marquette's full-court pressure, but Starks' three-point attempt rimmed out, giving the Golden Eagles one last chance with 8.3 to play.
The Hoyas had one last chance after Lockett was called for a foul on Greg Whittington's three-point attempt with 2.3 left. Whittington hit his first two but missed the third after Marquette called a timeout.
Starks led Georgetown with 18 points. Otto Porter Jr. and Whittington each added 13.
The teams shot 4 of 25 to open the game and Marquette, thanks to a free throw, held a 5-4 lead midway through the first half. Blue hit a three as the shot clock expired, making it an 8-4 game with 9:44 left.
The cold shooting continued and Marquette led 20-19 at halftime.
After the break, the shooting improved greatly, but the Golden Eagles maintained their slight advantage, going ahead by five after two Gardner free throws with 13:42 to play. Georgetown stayed close, though, never getting behind by more than a possession. That set the stage for the final push.
NOTES: Marquette has won 18 straight home games, the sixth-longest active streak in the nation. ... Buzz Williams returned to the sideline after serving a one-game suspension against Connecticut on Tuesday in Marquette's Big East opener. ... Georgetown has won three of the last five meetings with Marquette. The series is tied 7-7. ... Coming into the game, the Hoyas had held opponents to an average of 54.7 points per game this season, the best among Big East teams and No. 9 nationally.