MILWAUKEE (AP) — Justin Lewis expected D.J. Carton to win the game for Marquette from the foul line.
When that didn’t happen, Lewis delivered in the nick of time, picking up his teammate and snapping No. 4 Wisconsin’s 11-game winning streak.
Lewis, a freshman, scored 18 points and converted a putback off Carton’s missed free throw at the buzzer as Marquette knocked off the Badgers 67-65 on Friday night.
”Nobody was hoping that D.J. missed obviously, but to have the foresight to be ready to try to make a play if he did miss is incredible for any player, but especially a freshman,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said.
The game marked one of the most thrilling of the 127 meetings between the two in-state foes whose campuses are about 75 miles apart, though the absence of spectators at Fiserv Forum due to the pandemic gave the latest edition of the rivalry a different feel.
The lead changed hands six times in the final 70 seconds. Neither team led by more than six points.
Wisconsin (3-1) led 65-64 when Carton drew a foul from Badgers guard D’Mitrik Trice just inside the 3-point arc with nine-tenths of a second left. Trice, who led Wisconsin with 17 points, referred to it as a ”bonehead play on my part.”
”I tried to take a charge,” said Trice, whose jumper had put Wisconsin ahead with 5.8 seconds left. ”Obviously it was a block. It’s just something that I’ve got to learn from. If I had to run that play back, I would just slide my feet and stay in front of him.”
Carton made the first free throw, but his second attempt bounced off the rim.
Lewis got into the paint and tapped the ball with his right hand. The freshman’s shot hit the front of the rim and went off the backboard before falling through the basket to win the game as his teammates mobbed him under the basket.
”The second shot, I didn’t even look up because I wanted him to send us home,” Lewis said. ”Then, it went off, and I just crashed and tipped it in.”
Marquette (3-1) earned its first victory over a top-five team since beating No. 1 Villanova 74-72 on Jan. 24, 2017.
Lewis had eight rebounds to go along with his 18 points. Carton scored 12 points and Jamal Cain added 10 for Marquette, which won despite making just one of its last five free-throw attempts. Jonathan Davis scored 12 and Nate Reuvers added 11 for Wisconsin.
Marquette was narrowly ahead for most of the second half before Trice made two free throws with two minutes left. The lead went back and forth from there before the frantic final sequence ended with Lewis’ putback.
”He’s just a big-time player making a big-time play,” Carton said. ”I’m very proud of him for getting my back. He knows I’ll do the same for him.”
Wisconsin: After beating three clearly inferior opponents by an average margin of 28 points to start the year, the Badgers showed some vulnerabilities in their first major test of the season. They got in foul trouble early, allowed Marquette to attempt 28 free throws and failed to get stops down the stretch.
”We talk a lot about defending, rebounding and taking care of the ball – three areas that I thought we were not where we needed to be tonight,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said.
Marquette: The Golden Eagles overcame some shaky free-throw shooting late and bounced back in a big way from a 70-62 home loss to Oklahoma State in which they committed 24 turnovers and squandered an early 17-4 lead. This game should provide some confidence for a team learning to play without All-America guard Markus Howard, who led the nation with 27.8 points per game last season and ended his college career as the Golden Eagles’ all-time leading scorer.
This loss likely will drop Wisconsin to the bottom of the top 10 or just outside it. This is Wisconsin’s highest ranking since reaching the No. 3 spot on March 16, 2015.
Wisconsin hosts Louisville on Wednesday.
Marquette hosts Green Bay on Tuesday.
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