INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Marquette guard Tyler Kolek redeemed himself Tuesday night.

He found his shooting touch and, this time, made Butler pay for it.

The reigning Big East player of the year scored 27 points, including a key 3-pointer with 90 seconds left, and Oso Ighodaro had 17 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 4 Marquette hold on for a 78-72 victory.

“He's motivated. He's always motivated, but even more so (now) to be his best,” coach Shaka Smart said. “When you get to this time of the year, senior year, you know that it's go time.”

After shooting just 1 of 13 in the first matchup against the Bulldogs this season, Kolek reverted to his old self in this one. He was 10 of 21 from the field and 2 for 4 on 3-pointers. He made all five of his free throws and added seven rebounds and six assists.

And the Golden Eagles (19-5, 10-3 Big East) needed all of it to win their eighth straight game and earn a split in the season series.

Finley Bizjack scored a career-high 19 points while fueling a late charge to get Butler (16-9, 7-7) within 64-62 with four minutes to go. But the Bulldogs couldn't tie it or take the lead. Pierre Brooks had 15 points and Jahmyl Telfort finished with 12 points, six assists and six rebounds.

Coach Thad Matta thought the Bulldogs, who shot just 40% from the field and committed 14 turnovers, simply made too many mistakes.

“We weren't very good in the first half,” he said. “We were sloppy, and we had one of those nights where we couldn't make shots.”

Even so, the Bulldogs trailed just 34-32 at halftime.

But Marquette opened the second half on a 10-4 spurt to take a 44-36 lead and then struggled to stay in control - even after Kolek's three-point play with 7:40 remaining gave the Golden Eagles a 60-49 lead.

Bizjack answered with 10 points in a 13-4 run that got the Bulldogs within 64-62. But Kolek's 3 with 90 seconds left finally extended the lead to 72-66, and Butler's comeback bid fizzled.

“I think Tyler said, ‘Hey, this is the time to be moving toward being your absolute best,’” Smart said, referring to a recent pep talk from former Marquette star and current NBA player Jae Crowder. “He did a great job leading our team despite the fact there were some frustrating plays for him.”


Marquette: The Golden Eagles have been near the top of the national rankings much of this season. But they're fortunate to be only two games behind league-leading UConn after this game. The Bulldogs certainly have given Marquette trouble, and Smart said he's glad they won't meet again in the regular season.

Butler: The Bulldogs were making a late-season surge, winning five of their previous six. They started this week with a chance to sweep both Marquette and No. 17 Creighton, and a win over the Bluejays could go a long way toward solidifying their NCAA Tournament resume.


Marquette hung on for a quality road win. But the bigger obstacle comes Saturday when the Golden Eagles visit No. 1 UConn.


Marquette: A showdown Saturday at top-ranked UConn.

Butler: Hosts No. 17 Creighton on Saturday.


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