Georgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (4) drives against Marquette's Steve Taylor Jr., right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in MilwaukeeGeorgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (4) drives against Marquette's Steve Taylor Jr., right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
The win was Marquette's fifth in its last sixth games as the Golden Eagles (17-11, 9-6 Big East) try to capture a berth in the NCAA tournament. The Golden Eagles now face a tough two-game road trip at 8th ranked Villanova on March 2 and at Providence on March 4 before closing out the regular season at home against St. John's March 8.
Georgetown (16-12, 7-9), which is also fighting to get an NCAA tournament bid, lost for the third time in its last four games. The Hoyas were done in by poor shooting, hitting just 7 of 26 shots in the second half.
Gardner took over late in the game, scoring nine straight points on inside moves, including a driving layup with 3:58 remaining. He was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to give Marquette a 72-66 lead.
D'Vaunt Smith-Rivera hit a 3-pointer and Jabril Trawick scored on a dunk with 2:25 remaining to trim the lead to 72-71.
After both teams missed a shot, Gardner rebounded his own miss and was fouled. He hit both free throws with 1:17 remaining to boost the lead to 74-71.
Starks was fouled as he drove to the basket and hit two free throws with 1:07 remaining to make the score 74-73.
Gardner missed inside with 35 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Starks ran the clock down to 15 seconds, but missed a driving layup. Juan Anderson grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He hit one of two free throws with 10.8 seconds remaining to increase the lead to 75-73.
Smith-Rivera missed a layup with 3 seconds to go and Marquette grabbed the rebound to secure the win.
Starks led Georgetown with 24 points and Smith-Rivera added 19.