Jermaine Tate had 15 points as top-ranked Cincinnati gave another up-and-down performance in its 10th straight win, 72-60, over Marquette last night in Milwaukee.
The Bearcats led by 27 points at halftime but allowed two big runs by the Golden Eagles in the second half. Marquette trailed 58-49 with five minutes to play but couldn't get any closer.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 23-2 lead after 12 minutes and led 39-12 at halftime, holding Marquette to 4-of-26 shooting.
But the Golden Eagles opened the second half with a 22-6 run of their own. Cincinnati survived with offense from Steve Logan and Pete Mickeal, who finished with 13 points apiece.
Brian Wardle scored 24 of his 28 points in the second half to lead Marquette.
"I wouldn't say we relaxed in the second half," Cincinnati's Kenyon Martin said. "Brian Wardle made a lot of shots. If you're down 27, you just lay it out on the line, and that's what they did."
The Bearcats (18-1, 6-0 Conference USA) remained undefeated in conference play. Marquette (11-6, 4-2) lost for just the second time in eight games, with both defeats coming against Cincinnati.
LA SALLE 80, XAVIER 49: In Cincinnati, Donnie Carr scored 22 points and La Salle (7-9, 1-4 Atlantic 10) ended an eight-game losing streak, its longest since a nine-game skid in 1965-66.
The breakout game came against a team that had won 14 of the last 15 meetings and had not lost at home since Feb. 8, 1998.
Xavier (11-6, 2-3) had won its last 24 games at Cincinnati Gardens, the sixth-longest streak in Division I.