Tyler Kolek finished with 13 points and came through in the clutch late as No. 14 Marquette held off Butler for a 60-52 victory on Saturday afternoon in a Big East battle in Milwaukee.
Kolek converted a layup with 1:31 remaining to give the Golden Eagles (19-5, 11-2 Big East) some breathing room before sinking two free throws just over a minute later to seal the victory.
Olivier-Maxence Prosper and Chase Ross each added 10 points for Marquette, which had won 10 of its last 11. Kolek also finished with a game-high eight assists.
Simas Lukosius' 3-pointer brought the Bulldogs (11-13, 3-10) within seven points with 17:54 remaining, but Marquette followed with a 12-4 run to open up a 15-point lead.
Butler staged a comeback attempt, cutting its deficit to five on two occasions, with the latter coming after Lukosius' layup with 3:35 left. However, the hosts buckled down defensively in front of a raucous National Marquette Day crowd to avoid an upset.
Jayden Taylor led Butler with 19 points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Lukosius supplied 15 points and seven assists. Ali Ali had seven points for the Bulldogs, who shot just 19 of 50 (38 percent) from the field to drop their fifth straight game.
It looked like it was going to be a three-possession game at the break, but the Bulldogs collapsed in the final four seconds of the half.
After Eric Hunter Jr. turned the ball over, Ali was hit with a flagrant foul while trying to stop a Golden Eagles fast break. Kolek sank a pair of free throws at the charity stripe, then found Kam Jones in the corner on the ensuing inbounds play. Jones knocked down a trey at the buzzer, sending Marquette into intermission up 32-20.
Jones paced the Golden Eagles with eight points through the first 20 minutes of play, while Taylor also had eight points for Butler.
Marquette raced out to a 16-3 lead after the Bulldogs went just 1-for-6 from the field over the game's opening seven minutes. Butler responded with 10 unanswered points, though, pulling within 16-13 after Ali's 3-pointer with 8:22 left to play in the first half.
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