Marquette 74, No. 7 Cincinnati 72
MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Faisal Abraham knocked the ball out of Danny Fortson’s hands with two seconds left as Marquette held on to upset No. 7 Cincinnati 74-72 Saturday, the Eagles second upset of a ranked team in four days.
After hitting his first free throw, Cincinnati’s Jackson Julson intentionally missed his second attempt with 2.4 seconds left. Just as Fortson was grabbing the ricochet for a put-back to tie it, Abraham slapped it away.
Teammate Anthony Pieper grabbed the ball in front of the Bearcats’ bench and covered it up as the buzzer sounded.
Fortson finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Bearcats (22-4, 11-3 Conference USA).
Julson had slipped trying to set up for a game-tying 3-pointer and was fouled by Keith Crawford.
Marquette (20-6, 10-4), which upset No. 21 Louisville in double overtime on Wednesday night, finished 16-0 at home this season. The loss was the Bearcats first at the Bradley Center in eight games.
In avenging a 91-70 rout by Cincinnati _ the Eagles’ worst loss of the year _ Marquette finished the regular season 4-1 against ranked teams, and is certain to get an NCAA tournament bid.
Marquette secured the No. 3 seed in the inaugural Conference USA tournament at Memphis. Cincinnati is the top seed, but the Bearcats’ outside shot at getting a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament probably slipped away.
Seniors Roney Eford and Amal McCaskill scored 20 and 17, respectively, in their last home game and point guard Aaron Hutchins added 11 points and 11 assists. Crawford scored 18.
Abraham entered when McCaskill fouled out with 53 seconds left. Fortson hit both free throws to cut Marquette’s advantage to 72-71.
Hutchins lost the inbounds under pressure, but after a timeout, Abraham rejected Fortson, who got the ball back but overshot a short jumper.
Hutchins grabbed the rebound with 27 seconds left. Crawford was fouled by Rodrick Monroe at 16 seconds and sank both foul shots for a 74-71 lead.