MILWAUKEE (AP) — Todd Mayo scored 17 points off the bench and led a second-half charge from a 10-point deficit to help Marquette beat Butler 69-62 on Tuesday night.
Mayo hit seven field goals after halftime and the Golden Eagles (13-10, 5-5 Big East) avoided a regular-season sweep to the Bulldogs (12-10, 2-8).
The junior guard riled up the crowd after tipping away a rebound for a steal, then going the length of the court for a three-point play off a layup and a 62-57 lead with 3:02 left.
Marquette pulled away from there after shutting down the paint against Butler, who got 16 points from Kellen Durham.
Freshman forward Andrew Chrabascz drove the paint for most of his 10 points, all in the second half.
Elijah Brown’s jumper with 13:03 left gave Butler a 43-33 lead before Marquette started chipping away, a task made all the tougher with forward Jamil Wilson (17 points) on the bench with four fouls.
But after a sluggish start, coach Buzz Williams’ club got into a rhythm with his two best shooters, Mayo and Jake Thomas, on the court. They each 3s during a key stretch of the second half, and Butler extended its defense.
Williams made the next coaching chess move and his team started driving the lane more and clamping down on inside defensively.
Mayo’s coast-to-coast drive followed a pretty up-and-under move for a layup on the previous possession that put Marquette up 59-57 with about 3:30 left, a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
That move followed another turnover down low for Butler after Kameron Woods lost the ball while trying to post up Chris Otule. In what turned into a familiar scene, Mayo ended up with the ball in transition for a layup.
Dunham finished 5 of 14 from the field and 2 of 8 from 3-point range, adding seven rebounds. Khyle Marshall scored 13 points for Butler, which fell in its first visit to the BradleyCenter since winning 76-65 on Feb. 2, 1991. The Bulldogs joined the Golden Eagles in the new Big East this season.
It’s been a tough go for Butler in the new league. The small school that’s used to making deep runs in NCAAs will have a hard time making the tournament this year without a stunning February run.
Unlike a cold start to the first half, Butler got points to start the second half by going strong to the hoop. Chrabascz was effective against the Marquette’s more experienced frontcourt, finishing 4 of 6.
Despite the slow start to the game, the Bulldogs ended up settling down and making shots while Marquette settled into familiar struggles on offense. After starting 0 of 9 from the field, Butler finished 10-of-18 shooting in the first half to take a 25-23 lead.