The Marquette Golden Eagles trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half and looked like they were headed towards their first loss of the season. But the Golden Eagles started to hit some shots and played some lock-down defense to come from behind to beat the Purdue Boilermakers 65-55 in a Gavitt Tipoff game Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.
The Golden Eagles improved to 1-3 in the annual competition between the Big East and Big Ten Conferences.
Junior guard Koby McEwen, who transferred from Utah State, led the second half charge, scoring 18 of his game-high 23 points after halftime.
Marquette hit just 2 of its 12 three-pointers in the first half and went down by 18 with 1:59 left in the first half. But McEwen’s three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the first half to send the Golden Eagles into the break trailing 38-25.
The Golden Eagles held Purdue to just 17 points in the second half, on 5 of 25 shooting and it had coach Matt Painter questioning his teams lack of fight.
The Boilermakers did do a good job on Marquette guard Markus Howard. They denied the ball and smothered Howard when he had the ball. Howard didn’t force things, getting his teammates involved instead. He finished with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
The Golden Eagles improved to 2-0 and will travel to Madison to face the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday.