Marquette escapes with OT win over Eastern Illinois
Sam Hauser hit two free throws to force overtime and finished with a career-high 30 points as Marquette rallied for an 86-83 victory over Eastern Illinois on Monday night at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Hauser hit 10 of 15 shots, including 6 of 10 3-pointers, for the Golden Eagles (4-2), who shot 46.6 percent overall and were 11 of 27 from distance.
Jajuan Starks led the Panthers (2-4) with 26 points as Eastern Illinois shot 50 percent from the floor and 31.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Eastern Illinois raced out to a 12-2 lead with 13 minutes left in the opening half and led by 11 before Marquette dropped back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 14-9. A 3-pointer from Hauser tied it at 18 with 9:30 remaining in the opening half.
But the Panthers shot 57 percent from the floor during the half and went into the break with a 38-35 lead.
Eastern Illinois cooled off quickly in the second half, missing its first five 3-point shots, but stretched the lead to five before Marquette recovered and tied it at 46 with 12 minutes to play.
After Eastern Illinois regained the lead, Marquette got within a point three times in the final five minutes and tied the score at 68 on two free throws by Hauser with nine seconds left, forcing overtime.
Hauser hit a 3-pointer to open the extra session and after never leading the entire second half Marquette never fell behind again.
The Golden Eagles, down to only nine scholarship players, were even more short-handed after junior guard Haanif Cheatham announced earlier in the day he was leaving the program for personal reasons.
Cheatham started Marquette’s first five games, averaging 8.2 points on 43 percent shooting in 26.2 minutes per game.