MILWAUKEE - Travis Diener returned from a neck injury to record 15 points and 12 assists, leading Marquette past DePaul 70-62 on Saturday.
Freshman guard Dameon Mason, also questionable before the game with migraines, scored a career-high 21 for Marquette, which avoided losing four in a row for the first time since 1998-99.
Diener suffered severe whiplash after a player landed on him during Tuesday's game at Charlotte and did not practice the rest of the week. A game-day decision to start him drew a loud roar from the crowd before the Conference USA game.
All it took was a couple of days of stabilizing his neck with a brace and, on Friday, electrical stimulation, icing and chiropractic work.
He quickly made his presence known, registering an assist on a layup by Scott Merritt 20 seconds in as Marquette made its first five shots
The Golden Eagles trailed by 12 during the first half as the Blue Demons shot 70.6 percent during the first 131/2 minutes.
"Nobody flinched," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "Nobody panicked. We were a step off. It seemed like they were making everything."
Marquette rallied to trail 37-36 at the half and took the lead for good when Mason, who made 9 of 13 shots, made a spectacular play. He stole a pass, dribbled half of the court and slammed down a two-handed, over-the-head dunk for a 51-49 lead with 8:22 left.
Marquette went up 56-51 on Diener's off-balance 3-pointer from the right wing with 4:30 left. Two Mason free throws made it 58-51 less than a minute later.
After Drake Diener, Travis' cousin, made a 3-pointer that gave DePaul a flicker of hope with 31/2 minutes left, the relatives chatted.
"It was just some friendly, cousinly talk," Travis Diener said. "I had some words for him, too."
But DePaul got no closer than four the rest of the way, and Marquette made seven free throws during the final 37 seconds, including five by Diener, to seal it.
UAB 69, CHARLOTTE 62: Sidney Ball made the go-ahead jumper with 1:06 left for the visiting Blazers' 500th victory. After Ball's basket, the 49ers turned the ball over. Cardell Johnson grabbed it and was fouled. He made two free throws to make it 66-62, and UAB added three more after Charlotte missed shots.
SAINT LOUIS 70, EAST CAROLINA 47: Tom Frericks had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the host Billikens. Saint Louis used a 10-0 run during the first 4:40 of the second half to take control. Josh Fisher and Reggie Bryant made 3-pointers during the run.
MEMPHIS 64, HOUSTON 48: Sean Banks scored 18 and the host Tigers allowed 10 first-half points. The Cougars made only five field goals, shot 19 percent, did not get to the free-throw line and were outrebounded 29-16 to trail 31-10 at halftime. Memphis' lead reached double digits after 13 minutes and stayed there throughout.
TULANE 77, SAVANNAH ST. 61: Wayne Tinsley had 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for his third consecutive double double for the host Green Wave. Michael Mitchell's jumper cut Tulane's lead to 58-51 with 8:49 left, but Tinsley scored on a layup and dunk to push the lead back to double figures.
MISSISSIPPI 71, ALABAMA 60: Justin Reed had a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Rebels, who have won seven consecutive home games against the Crimson Tide. Aaron Harper made 5 of 10 3-pointers to tie the school record with 249.
Alabama played without its leading scorer, Earnest Shelton, who is out indefinitely with an MCL sprain in his right knee. Antoine Pettway gave Alabama its only lead on a jumper to open the game. But Ole Miss went on a 15-2 run during the next five minutes, and Alabama did not get closer than six from there.