Throughout a trying season, Marquette coach Buzz Williams has prodded senior leadership to pull the Golden Eagles out of their problems on the road. But it was a freshman who finally pulled them through. Guard John Dawson, who had made little impact until Monday night, was instrumental in Marquette's first quality road victory of the season, an 80–72 overtime decision against Georgetown. Playing big minutes and making clutch shots, Dawson scored five of the Golden Eagles' first seven points in the extra period. Along with Davante Gardner (20 points), a resurgent Steve Taylor Jr. (14 points, eight rebounds) and Todd Mayo, who made the three-pointer to send the game into overtime, the Golden Eagles finally found the players to seize control of a game. It was the first Big East road victory of the season for the Golden Eagles (11-8, 3-3), and it came at the expense of the slumping Hoyas (11-7, 3-4). But when it mattered, Marquette regained its characteristic toughness against the longtime league bully. Dawson, who had played only sparingly until Monday night, got most of the minutes at the point. Despite picking up his fourth foul in the second half, Dawson hung tough for 12 points. "I was just waiting for the moment, staying prepared," Dawson said. "We got into early foul trouble with Derrick (Wilson) and I had to come into a big role and step up." So have the Golden Eagles rediscovered their toughness? "I think we're starting to find it; I don't think we've completely found it," Dawson said. "We'll be there." Down by two points with 17.2 seconds left in regulation, Marquette put Markel Starks at the line. He missed the first and made the second. And with 6 seconds remaining, Mayo drained a three-pointer to send the game into overtime at 65-all. "It was drawn up for Jake (Thomas)," Mayo said, "but there was a push and I was free." Williams was thrilled with the effort, especially after an overtime loss at Butler on Saturday, and especially with Dawson and Taylor, the sophomore who has played little this season because of injury. "I thought John and Steve were absolutely huge," Williams said. "Steve hasn't played. To come off the bench and have 14 and eight, he was great. I thought John had unbelievable poise for a freshman, for a guy who has been playing spot minutes. "Regardless of your age, you have to be tough to win on the road. God gives you the same test until you pass it. We didn't pass it at Butler. We did tonight."
Eagles receive an unlikely lift against Hoyas
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jan 22