LAKE STATION | Braxton Miller's been working on staying aggressive when his shots aren't falling. So, it didn't matter that he'd missed a few shots earlier in the night.
The Marquette junior found himself open in the corner with the score tied 57-57 and less than five seconds on the clock in an important Greater South Shore Conference game at Lake Station. He stayed aggressive.
Miller's 3-pointer found nothing but nylon and the Blazers escaped with a 60-57 win to put some distance between themselves and the Eagles in the standings.
"That play wasn't really even for me, but it just happened to fall into my hands and I had a shot," Miller said. "I was just feeling it and it dropped."
The Blazers remained undefeated in the conference with the victory, dealing the Eagles their second conference loss of the season. Marquette has never won the Greater South Shore Conference.
"I'm super excited to get this win. That's one step closer to winning the conference," Marquette coach Don Garletts said.
Ryan Fazekas led the Blazers (9-6, 6-0) with 10 points in the first quarter. The 6-7 senior hit a pair of 3-pointers and had a fast-break dunk. Marquette was up 26-19 after eight minutes.
"The first three minutes, we shot ourselves out of the game. We know they were going to make a run because every good team makes runs," Garletts said. "Instead of pounding the ball inside, where we had the advantage, we kept shooting."
Fazekas was scoreless in the second quarter and the Eagles (10-5, 5-2) cut the lead to as little as four points. Ben Neals paced Lake Station with 13 points and nine rebounds in the first half.
Neals would finish with 18 points and 10 boards, at times keeping L.S. in the game almost by himself.
"We challenged (Neals) tonight with the matchup with Fazekas. We told him this would be the best matchup he had all year," coach Bob Burke said. "He kind of took that as a challenge to go out there and be better than the person across from him."
The Eagles tied the game three seperate times in the fourth quarter, but Marquette never relinquished the lead.
"(Marquette's) one of the best teams that we'll see in transitioning from offense to defense and we tried to match that," Burke said. "We can do it at times, but we just didn't have it tonight."