National Basketball Association
Marquette 79, Butler 69
When: 9:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Officials: # Tim Clougherty, # Matt Potter, # Brian O'Connell
Attendance: 14600

Markus Howard scored a game-high 28 points Wednesday night while Theo John kicked in a double-double as No. 11 Marquette took control of first place in the Big East Conference with a 79-69 win over Butler at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

John tallied 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Sam Hauser added 11 points for the Golden Eagles (22-4, 11-2), who jumped over Villanova atop the conference. Earlier Wednesday night, the Wildcats lost at Georgetown 83-75.

The Bulldogs (15-12, 6-8) got 27 points from Sean McDermott, plus 12 from Kamar Baldwin and 10 from Paul Jorgensen. But it was not enough to keep them from dropping their 11th straight game against a top 25 foe.

Butler controlled most of the first 25 minutes of the game, establishing its biggest lead when Joey Brunk converted a layup at the 18:32 mark of the second half to make it 37-29. After Marquette called a timeout, though, the Bulldogs were not able to hold the advantage.

The Golden Eagles rattled off eight straight points, with John's transition layup with 15:11 left, tying the game at 37.

Butler was able to gain a bit of traction and still led as late as the 12:45 mark after Baldwin hit two foul shots.

But Marquette broke open the game with an 11-0 burst that was started and ended by John. His jump hook kicked it off, and an emphatic dunk off a 3-point miss by Howard made it 54-44 with 8:43 remaining.

The Bulldogs got no closer than seven after that, the Golden Eagles holding them off as Howard played the role of closer. He scored nine points in a stretch of just over 4 1/2 minutes. His 3-pointer upped the margin to 70-55 with 2:13 left.

Butler used tough defense to establish its game for the first 13 1/2 minutes against an opponent that has just one home loss this season. It owned a 26-18 advantage when Jorgensen drilled a 3-ball with 6:43 remaining, but Marquette clawed within 30-29 at intermission thanks to a John jam.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Butler   Marquette
Sean McDermott 27 Scoring Markus Howard 28
Christian David 2 Assists Joey Hauser 4
Sean McDermott 8 Rebounds Theo John 11
Sean McDermott 7 Free Throws Made Markus Howard 4
Henry Baddley 1 Steals Jamal Cain 2
Christian David 1 Blocks Theo John 3
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Butler 69 41.7 8-24 11-12 10 29 1 7 15
Marquette 79 49.1 9-21 14-18 14 35 6 5 15