Wednesday, March 21, 2018

NCAA: Marquette rallies past Davidson

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Vander Blue's layup with one second left capped Marquette's rally from a nine-point deficit and gave the third-seeded Golden Eagles a 59-58 victory over Davidson on Thursday.

Blue and Jamil Wilson made consecutive 3-pointers to bring Marquette within 58-57 with 11 seconds left. The Golden Eagles regained possession when De'Mon Brooks' long inbounds pass went out of bounds just past midcourt with 6.7 seconds left.

Blue took Wilson's inbounds pass, drove left and found room for the winning basket. He then stole Davidson's last-ditch inbounds pass at midcourt to set off a celebration among players and Golden Eagles fans.

Marquette (24-8) won for the fifth time in six games.

"All I was thinking was, 'If I get to the rim, I have to finish,' " said Blue, who scored seven of Marquette's final 10 points, including a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left. "I'm not ready to go home. I know our team's not ready to go home.

"We got down by, like, seven; nobody ever panicked. … We knew the game isn't over until the clock hits zero."

Jake Cohen's 20 points led 14th-seeded Davidson (26-8), which seemed in control leading 49-40 with 6½ minutes left.

"We emptied our tank," Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. "Credit Marquette."

Butler 68, bucknell 56: Rotnei Clarke scored 11 of his 17 in the last 8:44, Andrew Smith had a career-high 16 rebounds and 14 points, and the sixth-seeded Bulldogs (27-8) withstood a late rally.

Trailing by 11, the 11th-seeded Bison (26-6) got within six. Then Butler took control for good.

Butler has won 11 of its past 13 games in the NCAA Tournament, the losses coming in the 2010 and 2011 title games.

"The similarity is they're Butler," coach Brad Stevens said. "They have some mettle. They have some intestinal fortitude built up over time. The difference is just the people. We have to play a little bit differently on both sides of floor because of it.

"But it truly is a Butler team, which I feel good about."

Joe Willman had a career-high 20 points for Bucknell. But two-time Patriot League player of the year Mike Muscala scored only nine, the second time this season he failed to reach double figures.

Butler made 25 of 28 free throws — 18-of-20 in the final 4:43 — while Bucknell went to the line eight times.

"This one stings," Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said.

Cal 64, UNLV 61: Allen Crabbe had 19 points and nine rebounds, reserve Robert Thurman scored all 12 of his points on dunks and the 12th-seeded Golden Bears (21-11) held off the fifth-seeded Runnin' Rebels (25-10) in San Jose, Calif.

Buoyed by the crowd support of a strong contingent from nearby Berkeley, Cal didn't allow a field goal for 11:14 during in the second half. Cal turned a tie score into a nine-point lead during that stretch and withstood a late UNLV push for its first tournament win since 2010.

Justin Cobbs added 13 points and five rebounds, and Richard Solomon had 11 points and seven rebounds, showing the heart and hustle coach Mike Montgomery has long preached.

The Rebels rallied to within a point in the final seconds.

Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 15 and freshman Anthony Bennett, a projected NBA lottery draft pick, shook off a poor start to finish with 15 points and 11 rebounds for UNLV, which beat Cal 76-75 in Berkeley on Dec. 9.

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