MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – The Presbyterian College men’s basketball team trailed Big East foe Marquette by just four points early in the second half, but eventually fell to the Golden Eagles, 84-66, on Sunday afternoon in the BMO Bradley Harris Center.
DeSean Murray recorded his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead PC. It was also his team-leading eighth 20-point game of the season and ninth straight game scoring in double figures. Reggie Dillard added 13 points, his fourth game with double-figure points this season, including 10 points coming in the second half. Darius Moore and Markus Terry each contributed eight points for the Blue Hose.
PC drained a season-high eight three-pointers in the contest, while totaling 17 assists, second-most this season. The Blue Hose were 6-of-7 from the charity stripe, its fewest free-throw attempts of the season, while Marquette went 17-of-23 from the free-throw line.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball early in the opening half. The Golden Eagles started by making just three of its first 17 shots in the game, before going 11-of-25 through the rest of the first half. PC opened the game making 3-of-5 shots from the floor and ended the opening half making 4-of-7 shots but converted just 4-of-23 between the two runs.
After Marquette pulled out to an early 11-6 lead, PC got four straight points from Murray to bring it back to a one-point game at 11-10. The Golden Eagles would slowly edge their way to a double-digit lead with an 8-0 run, later followed by a 6-0 run to take their largest lead of the half at 25-14 with 6:49 to play in the opening half.
PC would close the gap to six points three times in the first half, the last coming on a Murray tip-in with 16 seconds left. A late three-pointer with just two seconds left in the half by Marquette’s Haanif Cheatem pushed the lead to nine points at the halftime score of 38-29.
Hot shooting from both sides highlighted the start of the second half with both shooting well over 60 percent in the first five minutes. PC cut the lead to four points early in the half at 41-37 and 43-39, thanks to scores from Dillard. Marquette would begin to pull away from that point, going on an 18-5 run to take a 17-point lead at 59-42.
The Blue Hose would respond with a 9-0 run, though, to cut the lead to eight points at 59-51 with 13:16 remaining. The scoring came on threes by Dillard and Marcus Terry and a three-point play by Ruben Arroyo. The Golden Eagles strong shooting was too much from there, as MU made eight of its last 13 shots in the game, including five straight at one point, to take the 84-66 victory.
Five Marquette players recorded double-figure points with Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer leading the way with 17 points each. Cheatem added 14 points, followed by 12 points from Sandy Cohen III and 11 from Duane Wilson.
PC returns to action on Saturday, January 2, with a Big South contest at Campbell at 2 p.m. in Buies Creek, N.C.