The Bulldogs' defense also held Clarke to just six second-half points after he seemed ready to dominate the game by himself. Smith finished with 17 points.
The outcome ended up as another example of Blue's leadership and clutch play, but until then it deemed destined to be decided by the last team with the ball.
Marquette ultimately had the final word, thanks to 59 percent shooting in the second half while forcing 10 turnovers with three steals by Blue. Butler finished at 42 percent but didn't have the same easy looks as in the first half.
Dictating the tempo on both ends was the Golden Eagles' main objective, especially creating shots inside the arc.
Both teams succeeded to an extent in a fast-paced first 10 minutes, with Marquette moving the ball around to get the two-point baskets it thrives on. The movement worked so well for the Golden Eagles that Wilson - Thursday's other hero - and Lockett were open for 3-pointers, and made them.
Butler hit 3 of 17 from 3 in an opening win against Bucknell, but the Bulldogs found their range against Marquette. Clarke made three of Butler's seven 3-pointers in the first half.
Long shots came in handy since the Bulldogs struggled from elsewhere. They were 4 of 16 on 2-pointers.
Butler was still better than Marquette (7 of 27), which finished the first half frustrated by the Bulldogs' defense that contested everything near the basket. During one 40-second sequence before the break the Golden Eagles missed five straight shots including one from outside, sending them to the locker room trailing 35-27.
Blue's 3-pointer soon after the break was part of his 10 points during a 21-14 run that got Marquette within 49-48. He later scored consecutive baskets off turnovers to give the Golden Eagles a 60-58 with 7:07 left, their first lead since early in the game.