DePaul (7-7, 1-0 Big East) appeared headed for its seventh-straight loss Wednesday facing a 13-point deficit in the second half of its game against Marquette (8-5, 0-1). But the Blue Demons ended a rough 2014 on a high note, coming back to defeat the Golden Eagles 61-58 behind a game-high 19 points from sophomore guard Billy Garrett Jr.
Though Garrett was the driving force in the final four minutes, junior guard Aaron Simpson started DePaul’s surge with a 3-pointer at the 11:31 mark, his only field goal of the night.
The Blue Demons made just one field goal over the next four minutes, but their defense held the Golden Eagles to none. After back-to-back layups from senior Jamee Crockett and junior Myke Henry, DePaul trailed just 51-46.
At the 3:31 mark, Garrett took over, much like in last year’s overtime loss at Allstate Arena. Garrett scored a career-high 26 points. Nine of those came in the final three minutes to force overtime.
With DePaul trailing 55-50 Wednesday, Garrett scored six straight points to give the Blue Demons a one-point edge. He scored two more at the foul line with 26 seconds to go.
“We didn’t quit,” Garrett said after the game.
Marquette had a chance to force overtime on its final possession, but freshman Duane Wilson missed a clean look from beyond the arc. Senior Matt Carlino‘s desperation attempt after an offensive rebound was short.
Wilson and Carlino led Marquette with 11 points apiece.
DePaul stays home this weekend, hosting Xavier on Saturday afternoon. The Musketeers also won their Big East opener against Georgetown.