Marquette vs. Providence score: No. 15 Golden Eagles honor Dwyane Wade with big victory over Friars

Pulling off a 19-point swing en route to a victory over a conference rival -- and doing so in front of the greatest player in program history -- is one memorable way to win.

It's what Marquette did on Sunday, beating Providence 79-68 on Dwyane Wade Day. The Golden Eagles were down 33-25 at the half, then showed why they can never be counted out of a game. Marquette reeled off 54 second-half points and pulled away late to improve to 16-3, with a 5-1 record in the Big East.

The win is important because it keeps Marquette just a game behind Villanova in the league standings. One-third of the way through Big East season, and it's clear at this point that either Nova or Marquette is going to finish atop the conference table. All other teams have at least three losses.

Sam Hauser and Markus Howard combined for 49 points, with Howard making 14 of 16 free throws. It was a second-half clinic on offense. Marquette's now won 13 of its past 14 and has been one of the best teams in college basketball since Thanksgiving. 

As for Wade, even he was surprised. Not by the comeback; he didn't realize his family was going to pull one over on him at halftime.

Marquette previously honored Wade in 2007, when it retired his No. 3 at the Bradley Center. But on Sunday inside Fiserv Forum, Wade's career accomplishments were acknowledged once more amid what's become his farewell tour in the NBA. Wade will retire from the pros at the end of this season. Marquette made the accommodations because Wade's schedule aligned perfectly: the Miami Heat played Saturday night in Chicago, then had a day off on Sunday before playing in Boston on Monday. 

Marquette famously made the Final Four in 2003 after Wade had a triple double vs. No. 1 overall seed Kentucky in the Elite Eight. That was the performance that elevated Wade to national fame that's obviously grown exponentially over the past 16 years. Wade was a consensus First Team All-America honoree in 2002-03 and went on to be taken No. 5 overall in that year's draft. 

Here's Marquette's tribute video from Sunday.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his ninth season reporting on college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics... Full Bio

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