His previous best was 22 against St. Johns on January 11th, 2012. He was perfect (7 for 7) from the field and 12 for 13 from the free-throw line.
It took a while for Marquette to figure out Syracuse's zone defense, but the Golden Eagles managed to create a rally at the end of the half. Gardner did his part drawing fouls and providing instant offense with eight points in the first half.
Syracuse returned in the second half with a small early surge, but it would not be enough. They converted 11 turnovers by the Golden Eagles into 18 points, before Gardner got his groove back.
The junior was one of the many ways Marquette looked to get back the 11 points surrendered off turnovers in the first half. Gardner did his part on defense as well by drawing quick fouls on James Southerland.
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim left him in the game to try and stop the surging offense from Gardner and company. Michael Carter Williams led off the game with a dunk, but could not figure much else on offense ending with just 14 points on 14 shots.
C.J. Fair was the scoring leader for the Orange with 20 points.
Fast breaks were one answer to the zone with 10 points against Syracuse's three in the first half. 55 points off the bench also helped in the Marquette effort against the 2-3 zone.
[Todd Mayo hit two long threes and played a strong floor game scoring 9pts/2Ast/1ST in 16min.]
Sophomore guard Todd Mayo saw limited action off the bench, but added a three-pointer to cut Syracuse's lead in half in a 15-2 run by Marquette in the second half. He ended the game with nine points, while the Golden Eagles' starting five combined for 19 points.
Marquette hopes to continue its home court magic as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish arrive in Milwaukee on Saturday.
[Even Buzz Williams enjoyed the contributions of Jake Thomas off the bench]
Post Game Quotes:
"The thing that hurt us was inside five or six times we forced a missed shot, we didn't get the rebound and we foul," said Boehim. "Some of it was right and some of it I don't know about."
"When attacking zones it's tough to get the ball to one specific guy," said Boeheim. "I thought we scored enough points tonight but our defense wasn't good enough. They got a lot of offensive rebounds."
I don't think Marquette has lost at home this year, said Boeheim. "It's a tough place to play. When you lose a game, it doesn't mean you need to revamp. At the end of the year, we knew it would be difficult and this is a tough stretch."
According to Boehim, "We lost the game because we didn't rebound the second half and we couldn't stop Gardner.
"The way to beat a zone is to make some shots and get on the offensive glass," said Boehim.
"Davante understands space as well as anybody," said Williams. "Against their zone, he understands where the gap is. He did a really good job. You got to make that zone collapse otherwise it smothers you and I thought him and Jamil were outstanding."
"Our fellow students come out and support us, said Wilson. "They make it a priority to support us. The best thing that we can give back to them is to give them a win."
[Steve Taylor continued is strong play with 4pts/ 4 Reb/3 steals in 16 min]