MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade had 21 points and a career-high seven steals, leading No. 19 Marquette to its fifth straight win, a 72-51 Conference USA victory over DePaul.
Wade, the league's leading scorer and reigning Player of the Week, made only 4-of-12 shots from the field, but converted 13-of-16 free throws. He has surpassed 20 points in 12 of the Golden Eagles' 16 games this season.
Marquette (13-3, 5-1 C-USA American) feasted at the line, making 28-of-34 foul shots. As a result, the Golden Eagles attempted just 39 shots from the field, making 18.
"I just wanted to get to the free-throw line," Wade said. "Coach (Tom Crean) was telling me this was a good night to get to the line. My game plan was not to settle for the jumper and take it inside."
"His defense is getting better," Crean said. "He is very aggressive. He uses his strength and quickness. He did a real good job of getting through screens."
Playing for the first time in a week, Marquette never trailed after the first two minutes, dominating on defense. The Golden Eagles allowed just 13 points in the first 17 minutes and led, 32-18, at the intermission.
"We wanted to come out and establish ourselves on the defensive end," Wade added. "We know that our offense will get going if our defense is there."
"If you shoot 4-of-12 and still score 21 points, you had a tremendous effect on the game," DePaul coach Dave Leitao said.
Todd Townsend provided an early spark for Marquette, hitting a career-high four 3-pointers in the first nine minutes for all 12 of his points. Townsend's fourth 3-pointer gave the Golden Eagles a 16-9 lead with 11:06 left in the first half.
"I thought our guys played with great energy," Crean said. "We continued to move the ball and our defense was stifling. I love the attitude of our guys. I love the way they work. I think we are getting better."
Travis Diener added 11 for Marquette, which posted its fifth straight win over DePaul to open a 56-40 lead in the all-time series.
Sam Hoskin was the only player in double figures for the Blue Demons (10-6, 2-3) with 11 points. DePaul, which came off a 71-43 setback at Louisville, suffered its third straight loss.
"Obviously, we had some issues in the past few games with our offense," Leitao said. "Teams have come out more aggressive on us and we haven't adjusted."
Marquette extended its home winning streak to 25 games, now the second-longest in school history, but well off the school mark of 81 in a row from 1967-73.
The Golden Eagles had 12 steals and forced 19 turnovers, an opponent's season-high this season.
"Our defense is getting better," Crean said. "They have worked very hard, they understand the significance of it and know we need to get better at it. We are by no means where we need to be."
DePaul shot just 30 percent (6-of-20) in the first half before finishing at 43.5 percent (20-of-46). The Blue Demons made just 9-of-18 free throws.