MILWAUKEE – Davante Gardner scored a career-high 26 points, and No. 22 Marquette beat No. 12 Syracuse, 74-71, on Monday night in a game that further tightened things at the top of the Big East.
Gardner played only 11 minutes in Marquette’s 60-56 loss at Villanova on Saturday, with coach Buzz Williams saying he benched the junior center because “he played really bad.”
Gardner was the exact opposite against the Orange, making all seven of his shots and converting 12 of 13 free throws in 33 minutes to pull Marquette (20-7 overall, 11-4 Big East) into second place, one-half game behind No. 7 Georgetown.
C.J. Fair had 20 points for Syracuse (22-6, 10-5), which has lost three of five and dropped into a tie for fourth with No. 21 Notre Dame.
No. 10 Louisville is alone in third, a game behind Georgetown.
No. 6 Kansas 108, Iowa St. 96 (OT): At Ames, Iowa, Elijah Johnson scored a career-high 39 points – 12 in overtime – and No. 6 Kansas rallied to beat Iowa State, 108-96, for coach Bill Self’s 500th career win.
Travis Releford added 19 points for the Jayhawks (24-4, 12-3 Big 12), who snapped Iowa State’s 22-game home winning streak and kept pace with No. 13 Kansas State atop the Big 12.
Johnson made two free throws with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 90-all. He and Releford buried 3s to put Kansas ahead 100-92 with 2:03 left, and Johnson drilled a 30-footer with 54 seconds left.
Korie Lucious scored 23 points and Tyrus McGee had 22 for the Cyclones (19-9, 9-6).
After the game a handful of those in the student section hurled small plastic megaphones at the Jayhawks as they ran back to their locker room.
No. 13 Kansas St. 75, Texas Tech 55: At Manhattan, Kan., Thomas Gipson scored 20 points, Angel Rodriguez added 16 and Kansas State beat Texas Tech, giving the Wildcats 12 conference wins for the first time in 40 years.
The 12 league wins are the most for a first-year coach at Kansas State (23-5, 12-3 Big 12) and more importantly for Bruce Weber and his team is that win keeps the Wildcats tied with No. 6 Kansas for first place in the Big 12.
Dusty Hannahs scored 14 points for the Red Raiders (9-17, 2-13) and Jaye Crockett added 13.