MILWAUKEE — Doug McDermott continued his climb up the all-time scoring list with a strong second half and Ethan Wragge dialed in from long distance.
That was enough to lift No. 11 Creighton past Marquette 85-70 on Wednesday night in a foul-plagued Big East game.
McDermott, who entered as the nation’s leading scorer at 25.9 points per game, scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half, pushing his career total to 2,888 and moving him past Houston’s Elvin Hayes (2,884) and North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (2,872) into 11th place on the career list.
"I had to take what the defense gave me," McDermott said. "They were physical, making it tough for me. I thought I forced a couple early that were probably bad shots. Kind of just relaxed, and in the second half really just let the game come to me, and was able to get good shots."
McDermott scored seven points to trigger a deciding 10-2 run after Marquette had pulled within 64-59. McDermott’s jumper from the free throw line put the Bluejays (22-4, 12-2 Big East) up 74-61 with 4:39 left.
Creighton did not trail over the final 20 minutes after leading 42-35 at halftime.
"It goes without saying, with the way Marquette was playing, we were scared to death of this game," said Creighton coach Greg McDermott, Doug’s father. "I thought their level of confidence and intensity was in a different place than it was when we played them on New Year’s Eve. For that reason, I thought the start of the game was really important."
Wragge had 22 points, making 6 of 8 3-point attempts, and Austin Chatman added 10 points, despite being limited to 20 minutes because of foul trouble.
Todd Mayo had 13 points for the Golden Eagles (15-11, 7-6), who had won three straight, while Deonte Burton added 11.
"We tried a lot of different things, weren’t very successful at many," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "(No.) 3 (McDermott) shot 75 percent from the field, 34 (Wragge) had 18 points from 3, and they shot 63 percent for the game. That is really good offense and subpar defense, as it relates to us giving ourselves a chance to win."
Marquette, which had made 24 of 27 free throws in an 81-72 victory over Xavier on Saturday, was just 20 of 36 from the line. The Bluejays were called for 30 fouls and Marquette 22.
"I’m not sure we’ve had 30 fouls called on us in my four years at Creighton," Greg McDermott said. "It was just one of those games that was physical and they tried to control it; just two teams playing hard."
Led by Wragge, Creighton finished 12 of 23 from beyond the arc, while Marquette was 2 for 11.
"We got loose in transition a few times for some 3s and were able to knock some done," Greg McDermott said. "In a half where they did a good job of making Doug’s touches tough, we were able to use some guys and Doug was able to pass out of double-teams for open 3s. We were able to get Doug on the move a little more in the second half."
Creighton hit five of its first six 3-point attempts, including three straight by Wragge, to take a 17-13 lead with 14:07 left in the half.
The Bluejays extended the lead to 26-16 on an easy layup by McDermott, but Marquette chipped away, pulling within 35-31 on two free throws by Burton.
Creighton pushed the lead back to 42-32 on two free throws by McDermott, but Jamil Wilson’s three-point play cut the lead to 42-35 at halftime.
Marquette successfully denied McDermott the ball, limiting him to just four shots, none from beyond the arc.
The Golden Eagles offset Creighton’s 7-to-1 advantage in 3-point field goals by turning six offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points. The Bluejays outrebounded Marquette 17-15 in the first half, but had no offensive rebounds.
"A huge win. (Marquette) is a really good team, especially at home," Doug McDermott said. "To come away with a win is huge. They are a really tough team. This is big for us, because now we get a couple days off and play a tough Seton Hall team at home."