Eight nights ago, Jake Tarnow sat in the training room and lamented a 2-for-6 night at the foul line in a loss to nationally-ranked La Lumiere. Thursday night versus Crete-Monee, the senior converted 15-of-16 free throws in a 53-50 triumph at the Scholl Center.
The iron was unkind to both teams in the early going. Marquette made just one field goal in the first quarter while Crete-Monee landed only two in a stanza that ended with the Blazers nursing a 7-6 cushion.
Freshman Gary Lewis knocked home a pair of threes in the second quarter while sophomore Britain Harris contributed five in the period. The Blazers outscored the Warriors 17-9 to expand their lead to 24-15 at halftime.
The offenses came alive in the second half. Tarnow, Harris, and Vaunte Johnson hit treys in the third quarter, but Marquette’s lead shriveled to 34-30.
Crete-Monee fought all the way back to tie the game at 50-50 with under a minute to play. Tarnow drove through the lane and drew a foul with eight seconds left. He hit both foul shots to put the Blazers ahead 52-50.
The Warriors attempted to roll the ball down the court, but a Crete-Monee guard botched the pickup and Vaunte Johnson forced a jump ball. The possession arrow pointed Marquette’s way and Tarnow made the front-end of two foul shots, giving the Blazers a 53-50 advantage with 2.0 seconds remaining.
Crete-Monee, which had to go the length of the court, got a solid look at a three-pointer from the left wing, but the attempt was deep.
Tarnow, whose only free-throw miss came with 2.6 seconds left in the game, scored 15 of his game-high 18 points from the charity stripe. Freshmen Jason Kobe (9), Lukas Balling (8), and Lewis (7) combined for 24 points. Jon Allen sank a free-throw in his return to the Blazer lineup.
Marquette (4-10) hits the road next Thursday when it travels to Mishawaka to take on Marian. JV will jump at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT with varsity slated for 7:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT.