(REUTERS) Dwyane Wade scored 28 points and Scott Merritt added 18 as Marquette (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) came back from 19 points down to beat No. 11 Louisville 78-73 Thursday night.
Travis Diener added 16 points and four assists for Marquette (21-4, 12-2 Conference USA), which won for the 14th time in 15 games.
Wade hit a free throw with 23.4 seconds left, and Louisville’s Reece Gaines, after faking a defender to get himself open, missed a three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining that could have tied the game.
Diener hit two free throws with six seconds left to clinch the win.
Freshman Francisco Garcia scored 24 for Louisville, and Ellis Myles had 12 points and 11 rebounds before he left the game with a knee injury with 1:15 left.
Gaines, the hero of Louisville’s 73-70 win at Marquette Feb. 15, scored only 12 on 4-of-11 shooting for the Cardinals (19-5, 9-4 Conference USA), who lost for the fourth time in five games after a 17-game winning streak.
The Cardinals led 42-23 in the first half and by 11 at halftime before the Eagles came roaring back.
Although Louisville led 57-45 after a fast-paced first three minutes of the second half, the Eagles mounted an 18-4 run over the next four minutes, holding the suddenly cold-shooting Cardinals to a single field goal. Merritt gave Marquette its first lead with a basket in the lane with 10 minutes remaining.
Myles kept the Cardinals close with three rebound putbacks, but Wade had eight points in a five-minute span to put the Eagles up 74-70.
Garcia scored on a drive — just his third basket of the second half — to keep Louisville within two points.
Merritt sank a free throw with 2:29 left, and the teams each failed to score before Myles’ injury. He screamed in pain and pounded the floor after an awkward before leaving the game on a stretcher.
Luke Whitehead hit a free throw and Steve Novak missed a three-pointer with 40 seconds left, but Louisville freshman Taquan Dean missed one 15 seconds later.
The Cardinals threatened to make the rematch with Marquette much less competitive than the first meeting between the teams, scoring the first seven points. Neither team led by more than six in the second half of the first meeting.
The Golden Eagles closed the gap to four, but Garcia restored the seven-point bulge with his third three-pointer in the first five minutes. The 6-foot-7 freshman from the Bronx started 4-for-5, hitting his first three three-point attempts.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ defense smothered Marquette, forcing six turnovers in the first eight minutes.
The Golden Eagles stayed within seven until Gaines’ two free throws with 8:17 left made it 23-14 and started a 7-0 Louisville run.
The lead reached 42-23 as the Cardinals’ swarming pressure continued to generate Marquette miscues and easy baskets. Louisville scored 16 points off 14 Marquette turnovers in the first half.
The Eagles turned up their defense to finish the half with a 12-2 burst. The Cardinals missed five of their last six first-half shots and led only 46-35 at the break.