Blue Demons Fall 96-94 to Marquette in OT Thriller
Billy Garrett Jr. scored a career-high 26 points with a career-high five three's on Saturday.

Feb. 22, 2014

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­­ROSEMONT, Ill. - It was a shame that after all the big-time shots in the most critical of moments, after heroic performances from Brandon Young and Billy Garrett Jr. -- that it just wasn't quite enough Saturday afternoon.

To a man, DePaul left it all on the court in coming up short 96-94 in overtime against Marquette in a BIG EAST Conference game before a roaring Allstate Arena crowd of 9,342.

You wanted something good to come from all of this, especially for a basketball team that has encountered its share of adversity during a 10-game losing streak.

You thought maybe this would be the day after Garrett swished a deep 3-pointer in the waning moments of regulation time that tied it at 82-82 and sent this nail-biter into overtime.

You hoped that Young's three-point play, 3-point shot and free throw in overtime would jump-start the Blue Demons towards a win they so richly deserved.

In the end, Young's season-high 29 points, six assists, five rebounds and Garrett's career-high 26 points that included 5-of-8 shooting on 3-pointers along with Durrell McDonald's clutch 13 points off the bench just wasn't quite enough.

"It hurts losing a game like this," Garrett said. "Coming so close and losing like that is really tough."

In overtime, the Blue Demons were down 86-85 when Young connected on a step-back three for an 88-86 lead. Davante Gardner (22 points) hit a pair of free throws, and Garrett responded with one of his own for an 89-88 lead with just over two minutes to go.

Gardner's three-point play swung the lead back to Marquette. A layup by Jamil Wilson (18 points, nine rebounds) left DePaul down 93-89, and Gardner's two foul shots made it a six-point game.

McDonald hit a corner 3-pointer in slicing the deficit to 95-92 with 18.5 seconds left in overtime. Six seconds later, Wilson hit one free throw.

Young scored with a layup in the final seconds as DePaul fell to 10-18, 2-13 in the BIG EAST.

"We have to stay positive, keep our heads up and stay with it," Young said. "We fought our way back but just came up short. It's tough to keep getting losses under our belt."

Wilson's two free throws put Marquette in front 82-79 with eight seconds left in regulation time. Back came Garrett with a deep 3-pointer to tie it 82-82.

It was tense down the stretch in regulation time as both teams exchanged one big shot after the next. McDonald's 3-pointer brought DePaul within 73-71 but Steve Taylor Jr.'s basket put Marquette up by four. Tommy Hamilton IV fouled out with 3:28 on the clock. Twelve seconds later, Sandi Marcius was called for his fifth foul.

Trailing 77-71, DePaul went on a 6-0 burst with Garrett sinking two free throws and scoring on a drive. After a terrific Greg Sequele block, Young scored to make it 77-77 with 1:41 to go.

Todd Mayo (19 points) put the Golden Eagles up by two, but the irrepressible Garrett responded with a tough bank shot in the lane against two defenders with 42 seconds left. Gardner's free throw and two from Wilson made it 82-79 with eight seconds remaining, setting the stage for Garrett's clutch three.

"We did a lot of things well, and in the body of the game, we actually outplayed Marquette," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "We didn't finish them off by making free throws and taking care of the ball.

"It's a good thing to see our guys play like this after all the struggles we've had. We need to recognize what needs to get better and see if we can get a better result next time. It's disappointing and frustrating after a game like this not to get the result you want.

"Our guard play today was outstanding. Brandon and Billy played well, and Nugget (McDonald) came in and gave us some really good minutes."

Garrett, Young and McDonald combined to go 11-of-18 (61 percent) from three-point range, and DePaul was 14-of-29 (48.3 percent).

Marquette (16-11, 8-6) asserted itself at the outset of the second half, opening up with eight unanswered points in that led to an 12-1 run and a 14-point lead.

DePaul was down by 15 when an 11-4 Blue Demon burst cut the deficit to 62-54 midway through the second half. A Garrett 3-pointer two possessions later trimmed it to seven.

With less than eight minutes to go, Young connected from beyond the arc and McDonald hit two free throws to make it a three-point game. Then Garrett fired in a huge 3-pointer and it was tied 68-68 with 6:18 left.

"Billy is getting better and better," Purnell said. "It has taken him a while to get back. Today was the first time he's been back to where he was---in a position to make winning plays. Today, he was the Billy Garrett before the illness."

DePaul didn't get on the scoreboard until the 13:48 mark of the first half on a DeJuan Marrero free throw. A solid Marrero screen freed up Garrett for a 3-pointer during a Blue Demon 10-2 run.

Two foul shots by Charles McKinney and five consecutive Young points provided a one-point DePaul lead in the middle of the half.

Marquette led by four when Forrest Robinson confidently stroked a 3-pointer and Garrett followed with a pair of free throws for a 28-27 lead. A pair of Jake Thomas threes put the Golden Eagles up by five.

Trailing by six near the end of the first half, Jamee Crockett buried a corner three -- reminiscent of his freshman season -- and the Blue Demons were within three.

Wilson scored on a three-point play, but Young came right back and duplicated that move after a nice feed from Garrett as DePaul trailed 44-41 at intermission.

The Blue Demons will be back at Allstate Arena on Tuesday for a BIG EAST matchup against Seton Hall scheduled for an 8 p.m. tipoff.

Notes: Today was the 114th meeting all-time between the two programs... it was just the fourth time the two programs have ever gone to overtime... the series is the longest in DePaul history... Marquette holds a 70-44 advantage all-time... DePaul is 2-1 this season in overtime and 38-39 all-time... DePaul is on a season-high 10-game losing streak... the loss snapped a streak of 13 straight wins for DePaul when scoring more than 80 points... DePaul is 21-4 under Oliver Purnell when scoring 80 or more points... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 639 straight games... DePaul's last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... Young made his 120th career start... McKinney appeared in his 85th career game... McDonald appeared in his 60th career game and scored in double figures for the fifth time this season... Young finished in double figures scoring for the eighth straight game... Garrett's five three-pointers were a career-high and his 25 points were a career-high... McDonald's three three-pointers were a career-high.



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