After trailing the entirety of the first half, Marquette used an 11-0 run early in the second half to take an eight-point lead on Providence at Fiserv Forum last night. However, the Friars got a huge three from A.J. Reeves with 4.0 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 67, then saw Brendan Bailey miss what would have been a game-tying free throw with 4.1 seconds left in overtime to hold on for an 81-80 BIG EAST victory.
Bailey hit a pair of free throws with 18.8 seconds remaining in regulation to put Providence (10-6, 3-0 BIG EAST) down, 67-64. With Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski electing not to tell his team to foul the Friars on the ground, which would have forced Providence to the line for two double-bonus free throws, Marquette watched as Reeves hit the game-tying three-pointer over Bailey while falling back into the Friars bench. Marquette relied on point guard Koby McEwen to bring the ball up from the baseline after a timeout following the three, but McEwen didn’t appear to get a half-court heave off before the final buzzer.
In an overtime period with four ties and two lead changes, Providence led, 81-78, when the Friars’ Kalif Young fouled Bailey in the act of taking a potential game-tying three of his own with 4.1 seconds left. Bailey hit the first two of his three free-throws, but missed the last. Maliek White grabbed the rebound for Providence and was fouled with 1.7 seconds on the clock. After White missed his first free throw, Wojciechowski chose to take Marquette’s final timeout rather than potentially saving it for an opportunity to set up a play following White’s second free throw. When White missed the second, Bailey got the rebound, but he could do little more than try to make a 94-foot baseball throw toward the basket. His effort barely made it to half-court, allowing the Friars to begin celebrating.
White led Providence with 19 points as one of five Friars to enter double-figures and one of three non-starters to do so. All-American candidate Markus Howard scored 39 points to lead both Marquette (11-4, 1-2 BIG EAST) and all scorers, but did so on 14-of-33 volume shooting. Howard had to return to the locker room briefly in the second half with what appeared to be a right leg injury but returned shortly thereafter. Bailey added 19. Greg Elliott, who missed a three with 17 seconds left in regulation that would have sealed the game for Marquette, was also bitten by the injury bug. Elliott was seen walking off an injury near the Marquette bench at times during the game and was seen wearing a walking boot on his right foot after the contest.
The Friars’ win is their second-straight road victory by a single point after they defeated a resurgent DePaul team, 66-65, Saturday in Chicago. Marquette, meanwhile, loses the momentum of having beaten a Villanova team Saturday, 71-60, that was ranked 10th in the country at the time. Next for Marquette is a trip to face Seton Hall in New Jersey, this coming Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.
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