MILWAUKEE (AP) — Vander Blue scored 19 points to lead No. 18 Marquette to a 79-69 victory over No. 16 Pitt on Saturday.
Blue was 7 of 8 from the field and 3 for 4 on free throws to go with six rebounds for the Golden Eagles (18-6, 9-3), who moved into a first-place tie with Georgetown in the Big East.
The Golden Eagles, who lost to the Hoyas, 63-55 on Monday, shot 57 percent (26 for 46) to win their 23rd straight home game — the fourth-longest active streak in the country.
Marquette also won the teams’ previous meeting this season, 74-67 in overtime at Pittsburgh on Jan. 20.
Lamar Patterson scored 19 points to lead Pitt (20-6, 8-5), which entered the game fifth in the nation in scoring defense (54.4 ppg). Tray Woodall added 10 points and eight assists for the Panthers, who lost for just the second time in their last nine games.
Davante Gardner finished with 14 points for Marquette and scored 10 of his team’s 11 during a key stretch late in the game.
Gardner started his scoring spree when he tipped in his own miss to give the Golden Eagles a 63-50 lead with 6:35 to play.
Woodall missed a 3-pointer but Pitt got the offensive rebound. The Panthers also got the rebound on a miss by Talib Zanna, and then coach Jamie Dixon was called for a technical with 6:05 to play.
Gardner made both free throws, and after a 3-pointer by Patterson, he sank two more from the line to give Marquette a 67-53 lead with 5:45 remaining.
Fifteen seconds later, Patterson turned the ball over and then received a flagrant foul call. Derrick Wilson made one free throw, Gardner was fouled and made two more free throws for a 70-53 lead with 5:13 left.
After a free throw by Patterson, Gardner capped his offensive outburst with a layup off a pass from Jamil Wilson for Marquette’s biggest lead, 72-54, with 4:14 to go.
Pitt scored eight of the next 10 points and got within 74-62 on a layup by Woodall. But the Panthers missed their next three shots and fell behind, 76-62, on a dunk by Jamil Wilson with 2:00 to go.
In the first half, a jumper by Trent Lockett gave Marquette a 28-18 lead with 7:19 to go.
Pitt responded by scoring the next seven points to trim the deficit to 28-25 after a layup by James Robinson with 5:37 left.
But that’s as close as the Panthers would get, as Marquette scored 11 of the final 13 points of the half for a 42-29 lead at the break.
Marquette (14-0 at home) travels to Seton Hall and Villanova this week. Pitt plays three of its next four at home, beginning with a matchup against No. 21 Notre Dame on Monday.
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