Marquette outlasted No. 12 Wisconsin in a thrilling edition of the annual in-state rivalry game, capturing a 74-69 overtime victory at Fiserv Forum Saturday evening.
While Markus Howard wasn't sharp, Marquette (8-2) leaned on its junior star offensively. He only hit seven of his 29 field-goal attempts, but got to the free-throw line 15 times, making 12, and led Marquette with 27 points. Howard's 29 attempts equaled his Marquette career high and came one shy of the program record. Wisconsin (8-2) also relied heavily on its biggest star, senior and preseason All-American Ethan Happ, who led all scorers with 31 points on 16-of-21 shooting.
The game turned on two plays. The first came with 35 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied at 61. Sophomore D'Mitrik Trice, one of two Badgers who suffered season-impacting injuries in the run-up to last year's Marquette game, hit a cutting Happ with a pass that seemed to give Happ a clear path to a potential game-winning basket. However, Marquette junior transfer Ed Morrow, Jr. quickly recovered to block Happ's shot. After an ensuing Trice turnover, Howard missed a jumper at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
The second key play came with 3:35 remaining in overtime. With Marquette ahead, 65-63, Wisconsin sophomore Brad Davison came around a screen set by MU freshman Joey Hauser and appeared to swing his left fist at Hauser's crotch while passing him. On review, the call was upgraded to a flagrant 1 technical foul, causing Davison to be ejected from the game. Hauser hit both free throws to put Marquette up four and it would never trail again, as Wisconsin was left without a key defensive component for the remainder of overtime. Davison was held scoreless for only the second time this season (Oklahoma, Nov. 22) and missed all three of his free throws after missing just one of 20 this season before today.
It was the first overtime game in the rivalry since 1989 and the first time since Wisconsin's 70-64 win over Marquette in 2013 that the home team won. Marquette is also the first team to win consecutive games in the series since Wisconsin accomplished the feat in 2013-14, though Marquette won consecutive games in the two years before that. It's the first time an unranked opponent has beaten a ranked one in the series since Marquette beat then-No. 23 Wisconsin, 81-76, at the Kohl Center in 2007.
The 125th meeting of the two teams was the first played at Fiserv Forum and was Marquette's first sellout in the new arena, with a listed attendance of 17,515.
Wisconsin heads back to the Kohl Center to face Savannah State at 7 p.m. Thursday. You can hear the game through the iHeartRadio app, on Madison's News/Talk 1310 WIBA and 97.3 The Game in Milwaukee. Marquette, meanwhile, will face North Dakota at 8 p.m. Tuesday on FS1.
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