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MILWAUKEE – There's no telling what New Hampshire might have accomplished Thursday night if Chris Pelcher hadn't fouled out midway through the second half.
Chris Otule and Todd Mayo each scored 16 points to help No. 25 Marquette withstand a scare from the Wildcats in a 58-53 victory.
Patrick Konan had 14 points and 10 rebounds for New Hampshire (2-2). Pelcher, the reigning America East player of the week, managed only six points to go with four rebounds and fouled out with 9:41 left.
"It is hard to say," Pelcher said. "I would like to think that we could have done even better, but guys stepped up. Guys played well. Daniel Dion played great. Jordon Bronner. I don't want to think about what would have happened if I was in the game."
Steve Taylor drew Pelcher's fifth foul and made one of two free throws for a 41-27 Marquette lead.
Pelcher finished with at least 14 points and 15 rebounds in each of his first three games.
"I think for us to have a chance to win a game like this, we need him on the floor," New Hampshire coach Bill Herrion said.
Jamil Wilson added nine points, three steals and two blocks for the Golden Eagles (3-1), who shot just 32.7 percent (17 of 52) from the floor — including 13.6 percent (3 for 22) from 3-point range.
Otule was 6 of 7 from the field but his teammates were a combined 11 of 45 (24.4 percent).
"One way or another, without being arrogant or getting my ego involved, we're going to figure it out," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "And that doesn't mean that we're going to win. But we're going to figure out somehow to get back. Because I'm really ashamed what I have done to contribute to what we have been through four games. And I'm not concerned about who plays, or how old they are, or what position they play, or when they play, or how much they play."
It was the first meeting between the schools and the first game for Marquette since shooting 18.9 percent Saturday in a 52-35 loss to Ohio State that snapped the Golden Eagles' home winning streak at 27 games — the longest active streak in the country at the time.
That was the lowest point total for Marquette since a 55-35 loss to DePaul in 2000, and the Golden Eagles looked sluggish again at times on Thursday, failing to make a field goal in the final 4:19.
Afterward, Marquette did not make any players available to the media.
"We have to get back to how we laid the foundation in the time we've been here and how we've built the foundation in the time we've been here, because somewhere along the way — and I'm at the front of the line — there has become a disconnect in how we function," Williams said.
A 3-pointer by Bronner from the left wing cut Marquette's lead to 53-49 with 42.9 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Bronner fouled Mayo on the inbounds play, and his two free throws made it 55-49.
Mayo added a free throw on Marquette's next possession, and after a missed 3 by Tommy McDonnel, Otule sank another free throw for a 57-50 lead with 12.5 seconds left.
Dion drilled a 3-pointer for New Hampshire with 6.6 seconds left before Otule closed out the scoring with a free throw with 5.7 seconds to go.
In the first half, New Hampshire struggled early and then Marquette took its turn with about 10 minutes left.
After a turnaround jumper by Pelcher gave his team a 2-0 lead, the Wildcats missed their next 10 shots. Marquette scored 17 unanswered points and held a 17-3 lead after two free throws by Mayo with 11:08 to go.
A jumper by Otule gave Marquette a 19-5 lead with 10:25 remaining, but the Golden Eagles closed out the half 0 for 12 from the floor and held a 25-18 halftime lead. It was so bad for Marquette, Wilson even missed a dunk as time expired.