MILWAUKEE — Davante Gardner scored a career-high 26 points and No. 22 Marquette beat No. 12 Syracuse 74-71 on Monday night in a game that further tightened things at the top of the Big East.
Gardner played only 11 minutes in Marquette’s 60-56 loss at Villanova on Saturday, with coach Buzz Williams saying he benched the junior center because “he played really bad.”
Gardner was the exact opposite against the Orange, making all seven of his shots and converting 12 of 13 free throws in 33 minutes to pull Marquette (20-7, 11-4 Big East) into second place, one-half game behind No. 7 Georgetown.
C.J. Fair had 20 points for Syracuse (22-6, 10-5), which has lost three of five and dropped into a tie for fourth with No. 21 Notre Dame.
No. 10 Louisville is alone in third, a game behind Georgetown.
NO. 6 KANSAS 108,
IOWA STATE 96 (OT)
In Ames, Iowa, Elijah Johnson scored 39 points and Kansas survived an overtime scare against Iowa State.
Travis Relaford added 19 points for the Jayhawks (24-4, 12-3 Big 12), who have won five in a row since a their rare three-game losing streak.
Korie Lucious had 23 points and Tyrus McGee added 22 for the Cyclones (19-9, 9-6), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
NO. 13 KANSAS STATE 75, TEXAS TECH 55
In Manhattan, Kan., Thomas Gipson scored 20 points, Angel Rodriguez added 16 and Kansas State beat Texas Tech giving the Wildcats 12 conference wins for the first time in 40 years.
The 12 league wins are the most ever for a first-year coach at Kansas State (23-5, 12-3 Big 12) and more importantly for Bruce Weber and his team is that win keeps the Wildcats tied with No. 6 Kansas for first place in the Big 12.
Dusty Hannahs scored 14 points for the Red Raiders (9-17, 2-13) and Jaye Crockett added 13.
The Wildcats did not take control until the second half, when reserve Nino Williams jump-started the Kansas State offense with 11 consecutive points.
AP POLL: Indiana is No. 1 in The Associated Press’ Top 25 for the fourth straight week, while Gonzaga moved to No. 2 for the first time in school history.
The Bulldogs were third last week, matching their previous best ranking.
“The polls mean a lot more this time of year than they do in November, December, even January,” coach Mark Few said. “All of us are being judged on the true body of work. It’s definitely rewarding.
“It establishes us as a national program, which I believe we have been for the last 10 years. This group has done a great job of competing at that level, winning games at the highest level.”
While the West Coast Bulldogs made some news at the top of the poll Monday, Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs from Down South, moved into the rankings for the first time since a 13-week run in 1984-85, their only appearance in the poll.
Louisiana Tech, which is 25th this week, was led back then to a ranking as high as No. 7 by a forward named Karl Malone. Gonzaga at that time had a point guard named John Stockton.