MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Marquette finally got the monkey off its back.

After losing back-to-back games in the closing seconds to No. 8 West Virginia and No. 6 Villanova, Marquette held on to beat a top-15 opponent Wednesday night as it downed No. 12 Georgetown 62-59.

The Golden Eagles (10-5, 1-2 Big East), who lost after game-winners by Da’Sean Butler and Scottie Reynolds, celebrated after junior guard Chris Wright’s three-point try missed everything and the buzzer sounded. The Hoyas (11-2, 2-1) suffered their first conference loss.

Led by 18 points from senior guard David Cubillan, who hit 6-of-6 from beyond the arc, Marquette connected on 46.5 percent of its three point attempts. Georgetown junior guard Austin Freeman led all scorers with 20 points, but he missed a short jumper that would have given the Hoyas the lead with less than 10 seconds remaining.

“Our composure has increased and gotten better,” Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams said. “I didn’t think at West Virginia that we had great composure down the stretch. I don’t know if it was bad, but more it was timid than aggressive.”

arquette hit 4-of-5 free throws in the final minute, though a Maurice Acker miss on the front end of a one-and-one gave Freeman a chance to dash Marquette’s hopes like Butler and Reynolds. Freeman drove to his right from the top of the key and missed a fade-away jumper off the front of the rim with nine seconds remaining.

“We got what we wanted, and it didn’t go in,” Head Coach John Thompson III said of Freeman’s shot. “That’s the way the ball bounces.”

Then, after two free throws from junior forward Jimmy Butler, Wright took a handoff from Freeman and airballed a pull-up three from the wing.

The Hoyas, who held a significant size advantage, attacked the lane from the start and held a 32-6 scoring edge in the paint. After falling behind by as much as eight points early in the game, junior forward Julian Vaughn scored on three-straight possessions – two dunks and a layup – to cut the deficit to two with 8:40 remaining in the half.

Vaughn finished with 12 points but remained on the bench in the closing minutes. Sophomore center Greg Monroe was held to nine points and committed four turnovers.

“Greg didn’t have a good day today. I have to give them credit for that,” Thompson said. “They did a good job of, once he got the ball, coming from different angles and doubling him.”

onroe struggled against Marquette’s small yet quick lineup. The Golden Eagles did not have a player taller than 6-foot-6 play more than 10 minutes in the game, but they confounded the Hoyas’ leading scorer with immediate double-teams in the post and quick rotation.

Georgetown entered the locker room down 32-30 at the half, and the second half was a back-and-forth affair with neither team leading by more than three points. After Marquette led the entire way in the first frame, there were eight ties and six lead changes in the second.

The Hoyas shot 48.9 percent from the field, better than the Golden Eagles 38.9 percent, but Marquette hit eight more three-pointers.

“They made real tough shots,” Freeman said. “We tried our best to contain that, but they hit a lot of tough shots.”

The Golden Eagles scored 17 second chance points on 12 offensive rebounds. Senior forward Lazar Hayward, who stands 6-foot-6, rebounded a missed three-pointer over Monroe with just under a minute to go. Hayward then drew a foul and hit two free throws to extend Marquette’s lead to three.

“That was the best rebound I’ve ever seen Lazar get,” Williams said. “We don’t ever talk about `we’re small’ or `we play seven guys and we’re tired.’ We just wake up and go to work.”

Williams’ team out-rebounded Georgetown 31-28. Hayward, who shot 4-of-16 from the field, grabbed a game-high 11 boards.

arquette’s brutal Big East start continues at No. 6 Villanova on Saturday, seven days after the two teams last met.

“This league this year is unbelievable, in that the difference between the best team in the league – whoever that is – and the worst team in the league – whoever that is – is not much,” Thompson said. “The depth of this conference this year, I think, is even stronger than it was last year.”

The Hoyas, who failed to get their second 3-0 Big East start under Thompson, will return home to face No. 13 Connecticut on Saturday at Verizon Center.

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