No. 4 Marquette survived a surprise upset by UCLA 71-69 in a thriller at the Maui Invitational on Monday night to earn a top-10 team’s fourth ticket to the semifinals.
The Golden Eagles will face No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Purdue and No. 7 Tennessee in the semifinals on Tuesday.
In the nightcap of the tournament, the Golden Eagles trailed 35-30 at halftime, then went on a 17-0 run in the second half to take control of the game and take a 64-59 lead late in the second half. But Marquette missed five straight free throws, opening the way for UCLA to take the lead again at 69-68 in the final minute.
But Sean Jones had an answer. The sophomore reserve guard launched a pull-up 3-pointer with 36.3 seconds left to give Marquette a 71-69 lead back.
UCLA’s response on the other end missed the mark and Marquette secured the victory.
Returning All-American Tyler Kolek took a backseat as a scorer while posting nine points and nine assists on a 3-of-7 shooting night for Marquette. Junior forward David Joplin led the Marquette attack with 19 points and four rebounds. Oso Ighodaro scored 14 points and Kam Jones added 12 as the Golden Eagles shot 45.5% from the field, overcoming a poor night at the free throw line (10 of 18).
Freshman UCLA guard Sebastian Mack led UCLA with 25 points and six rebounds as the Bruins narrowly missed out on one of the biggest upsets of the young NCAA season.
Marquette faces a Kansas team that outrebounded Chaminade 83-56 behind a triple-double from senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. It’s the senior guard’s second straight triple-double.
Marquette faces Kansas on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET, following a match between Purdue and Tennessee at 8 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN.
Edey leads No. 2 Purdue past No. 11 Gonzaga; faces No. 7 Tennessee
In the other half of the round, Zach Edey led No. 2 Purdue past No. 11 Gonzaga to set up a semifinal duel with No. 7 Tennessee. The Vols easily beat Syracuse 73-56 earlier Monday.
Purdue made three consecutive shots to take a 6-0 lead over Gonzaga. Gonzaga then countered with a 14-0 run en route to a 20-12 lead, hitting three 3-pointers. By halftime, the Bulldogs had made six of 19 3-point attempts while building a five-point lead. They wouldn’t hit anyone else.
Purdue rallied from a 35-30 halftime deficit and controlled the latter part of the second half for a convincing victory over the No. 11 team in the country.
The Boilermakers opened the second half with a 10-4 run to regain a 40-39 lead in a game that was back and forth for most of the half. But Purdue edged Gonzaga 17-10 in the finale, extending its 56-53 lead to a 10-point win. The Bulldogs missed all 13 of their 3-point attempts in the second half while the Boilermakers dominated the post.
Edey finished the game with 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks after struggling 4 of 11 from the field in the first half. He shot 8 of 16 for the game. Gonzaga had no answer for the 7-foot-4 All-American while countering with 6-foot-9 junior forward Graham Ike, who was the main man in the post.
Purdue also struggled from distance in a 4-for-17 win. But it continually capitalized on its lead, shooting 46.7% from the field and doubling Gonzaga’s free throw percentage with 16 attempts from the line. Edey was responsible for the majority of those free throws on a 9-on-10 attempt.
Ike led Gonzaga with 14 points and seven rebounds as the Bulldogs search for a new identity following the departure of senior All-American Drew Timme. Ike, along with former Creighton guard Ryan Nembhard, transferred to Gonzaga of Wyoming as high-profile additions to the transfer portal.
Nembhard scored 11 points, tied for second on the team with returning junior guard Nolan Hickman. Nembhard compounded Gonzaga’s long-range woes with a 1-for-9 shot from long range.
The win is the first victory over a ranked team for Purdue this season as the Boilermakers look to bounce back from last season’s historic disappointment in the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers lost to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, becoming the second No. 1 seed to lose in the first round. They return all five starters from last season’s team, including Edey, the reigning national player of the year.