MILWAUKEE – On Saturday, Davante Gardner was in Buzz Williams’ doghouse with the Marquette coach benching his junior center after only 11 minutes against Villanova for poor play.
What a difference two days make.
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.
Against their zone he understands where their gap is, Williams said of Gardner. He just understands space and obviously he did a really good job.
Marquette (20-7, 11-4 Big East) pulled into second place in the conference, 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.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said his team lost because it couldn’t handle Gardner and didn’t rebound well.
Marquette made 29 of 35 free throws while Syracuse made only five of seven.
No. 13 KANSAS STATE 75, TEXAS TECH 55: In Manhattan, Kan., Thomas Gipson scored 20 points and Angel Rodriguez added 16 as the Wildcats (23-5, 12-3 Big 12) reached 12 conference wins for the first time in 40 years.
Dusty Hannahs scored 14 points for the Red Raiders (9-17, 2-13) and Jaye Crockett added 13.
No. 1 BAYLOR 86, OKLAHOMA 64: In Norman, Okla., Brittney Griner scored 15 points, tied her season-high with 15 rebounds and blocked seven shots to lead the Bears (27-1, 16-0 Big 12) to their 25th straight victory.
Aaryn Ellenberg had 19 points to lead Oklahoma (19-9, 9-7). Morgan Hook had 15 points and nine turnovers.