It took Marquette 38 minutes to slam the door shut on BYU, but when they did, it was with authority.
The Cougars were within ten points with three minutes to play, but a lightning-quick ten-point Marquette run over the span of two minutes put the game out of reach, giving the Golden Eagles an 88-68 win over BYU on Thursday afternoon in Louisville, Ky.
Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder had a performance that was fitting for his title, scoring 25 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.
His complement in the backcourt, Darius Johnson-Odom, had 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting.
Marquette has emerged in some brackets as a Final Four possibility out of the West region and took a step in the right direction against the Cougars.
BYU was dominated on the boards by a margin of 48-32, including 16-8 on the offensive glass.
This loss for the Cougars comes two days after they stormed back against Iona to play their way into Thursday afternoon’s game. The difference was, whereas BYU shot 48% from the floor against Iona, they shot just 38% against Marquette.
With this, the career of senior Noah Hartsock, a player who averaged nearly 17 points and five rebounds for BYU this season, comes to a less-than-desirable end.
Marquette moves on to play Murray State in the Round of 32, after the Racers beat Colorado State, 58-41, on Thursday afternoon.
That sets the stage for an up-tempo and high-scoring game, featuring two teams with All-American players in Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan and Marquette’s Crowder.