Marquette 62 – Pittsburgh 57
No. 24 Marquette had a late surge in the first half and then turned up the defensive pressure in the second to come back and beat Pittsburgh 62-57, handing the Panthers’ their sixth straight loss on Saturday afternoon at the Bradley Center.
Marquette (14-4, 3-2 Big East) won for the second straight time in conference play after losing consecutive games to No. 11 Georgetown and No. 1 Syracuse.
“I thought we played more minutes of us than we have been,” he said. “But in the second half, we were really good in a lot of ways and that helped turn the game around.”
Using a three-quarter court press, Marquette went on a 13-0 run midway through the second half to turn a five-point deficit into a 49-41 lead with 5:04 remaining. Marquette’s run featured consecutive steals and driving lay ups by Todd Mayo that got the crowd into the game and rattled Pittsburgh (11-7, 0-5).
Darius Johnson-Odom scored 18 points and Jae Crowder added 15 for Marquette in the win.
Ashton Gibbs broke out offensively with a career-high 29 points and Nasir Robinson added 10 for Pittsburgh, which remained the only winless team in the Big East.
It was a game that Pitt can build off of after an embarrassing loss to Rutgers earlier in the week. In the loss to Rutgers, Pitt shot 12 of 57 from the field and it was their lowest point total in 38 years and lowest at home in 61 years.
“I liked how we played,” Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. “The second half, we had some challenges there given the foul situation and I think that really caught up to us. We did some really good things. I’m proud of how hard we played but we didn’t get it done.”
Pittsburgh hit just 20 of 46 shots in the game, including only 6 of 20 from 3-point range.
(Information provided by Brian Kelly and Associated Press)