DePaul gives a great effort, but falls short to Marquette
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter February 22, 2014 10:12PM
Updated: February 23, 2014 2:41AM
Despite another lost season, DePaul proved it would not go quietly by mounting a furious second-half comeback and forcing overtime Saturday before falling 96-94 to Marquette in front of a noisy Allstate Arena crowd of 9,342.
Billy Garrett Jr.’s dramatic three-point shot with two seconds left tied the game at 82.
‘‘It was the heat of the game, and you have to stay focused,’’ Garrett said of his tying shot. ‘‘Everyone was focused on the task at hand, and it showed. But we couldn’t finish in overtime.’’
It was the 10th consecutive loss for DePaul (10-18, 2-13 Big East).
‘‘It hurts,’’ Garrett said. ‘‘A rival game like that, our fan base coming out. It hurts not to be able to win for them, but also because we had a great chance to win. That’s tough.’’
Marquette (16-11, 8-6) seemingly won it in regulation when guard Derrick Wilson heaved the inbounds pass and sank an 85-foot shot, but it was waved off because Marquette coach Buzz Williams called a timeout.
‘‘I heard the reaction from the fans, but I didn’t see it,’’ Williams said. ‘‘Derrick said, ‘Coach, we could have won if you didn’t call timeout.’ I said, ‘I didn’t think you could make it from 85 feet after scoring zero [for the game].’
‘‘You can look at [DePaul] and say, ‘They’ve only won two [conference] games,’ but at no time could you tell that’s a team in last place. I respect them for the fight and resolve they have.’’
DePaul is mired in last place with Butler in the conference with three games left.
‘‘We get better on defense and we’re communicating better, but it’s tough that we keep seeing L’s,’’ said Brandon Young, who led all scorers with 29 points.
The Demons started terribly and could not score. They had to use three timeouts in the first three minutes, two because they couldn’t inbound the ball.
They rallied to trail 44-41 at halftime.
‘‘We did a lot of things well in the body of the game, but we didn’t start [each half] well and didn’t finish them off,’’ DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. ‘‘It’s disappointing and frustrating not to get the results you want in a game like this, but there’s only one choice, and that’s to keep pushing.’’