MUScoop Wiki - By the fans, for the fans.

Second half run clinches No. 11 Marquette's win vs. IUPUI

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Marquette took its time against IUPUI.

Jerel McNeal scored 20 points to lead the No. 11 Golden Eagles to a 76-68 comeback victory over IUPUI on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

“I never panicked,” Marquette coach Tom Crean said. “We just didn't come with enough energy to start the second half as we needed to. We've got to have more energy to start halves.

“The first half, we were OK. The second half was not as good.” Marquette trailed 48-43 with 13 minutes left after IUPUI used a 17-2 run to erase a 10-point lead for the Golden Eagles shortly after halftime.

Marquette responded with a 23-8 run over the next 9 minutes to seal the victory. IUPUI trailed by one with 8 minutes left, but Wesley Matthews hit a 3-pointer and the Jaguars got no closer than four the rest of the way.

Dominic James added 12 points for Marquette, and Lazar Hayward had 11. Marquette shot 55.1 percent (27-for-49) from the field, including 60 percent in the first half.

George Hill led the Jaguars with 19 points and Gary Patterson added 15. Billy Pettiford had 14 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

“The main thing was just try to focus getting the best shot offensively and trying to move the ball around … and to get some stops,” McNeal said. “Stops and rebounds, we weren't getting enough.”

Marquette fell behind 10-4 early but led 39-31 at halftime.

A basket by James made it 41-31 before IUPUI went on its run. Hill scored seven points during the spurt, but he picked up his fourth foul with 15 minutes left and fouled out in the closing seconds.

Marquette made 8 of 9 free throws in the final 22 seconds to seal it.

“We just have to learn how, when we get somebody down, to keep them down,” Crean said. “We built our lead in the second half, and then we let them come right back. We've got to learn how to stop that.”

Hill was playing in his first game since last December. He averaged 18.9 points per game in 2005-06 but played in just five games last season after breaking his foot in the second game of the year.

Still, Hill was named the Summit League's preseason player of the year this season.

“We could have folded when George Hill got his fourth,” Jaguars coach Ron Hunter said. “The kids did a really good job of just hanging in there. I would have loved to see how the game would have played out if he hadn't got the fourth, if we could have just kept rolling.”

Box Score

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS
IUPUI vs Marquette
11/10/07 7:30 p.m. at Bradley Center - Milwaukee, WI
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: IUPUI 0-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
20 AVERY, Jon.......... f  3-7    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   3   6  1  0  0  0  36
54 PETTIFORD, Billy.... f  5-10   1-4    3-6    3  4  7   3  14  8  5  1  1  37
03 HILL, George........ g  6-9    3-4    4-4    0  2  2   5  19  4  5  0  4  30
24 PATTERSON, Gary..... g  5-11   3-6    2-2    0  3  3   4  15  0  2  0  0  40
33 MONTGOMERY, Austin.. g  5-10   1-2    2-2    1  4  5   3  13  2  0  1  2  38
01 NOBLES, LeRoy.......    0-0    0-0    1-2    0  0  0   2   1  1  2  0  0   9
32 CONNER, Drew........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  1  1  0  0   5
42 ASHWORTH, John......    0-1    0-1    0-0    1  0  1   0   0  1  0  0  0   5
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   24-48   8-17  12-16   5 15 20  21  68 18 15  2  7 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-27 48.1%   2nd Half: 11-21 52.4%   Game: 50.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-12 41.7%   2nd Half:  3-5  60.0%   Game: 47.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  0-0   0.0%   2nd Half: 12-16 75.0%   Game: 75.0%   3,3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Marquette 1-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 FITZGERALD, Dan..... f  2-5    2-5    0-0    1  1  2   2   6  1  1  0  1  19
12 BURKE, Dwight....... f  1-2    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   2   2  0  0  0  0  16
01 JAMES, Dominic...... g  3-7    0-3    6-7    1  0  1   2  12  3  2  1  4  31
22 MCNEAL, Jerel....... g  8-11   1-2    3-4    1  3  4   1  20  2  4  0  3  33
23 MATTHEWS, Wesley.... g  4-6    1-3    1-2    0  4  4   1  10  1  4  0  1  28
02 ACKER, Maurice......    1-2    1-2    0-1    0  1  1   1   3  1  1  0  0  12
10 CUBILLAN, David.....    3-9    2-8    1-1    1  0  1   2   9  3  1  0  0  23
32 HAYWARD, Lazar......    4-5    0-1    3-3    0  4  4   2  11  1  0  0  0  16
41 BARRO, Ousmane......    1-2    0-0    1-2    3  4  7   2   3  2  2  2  0  22
   TEAM................
   Totals..............   27-49   7-24  15-20   8 18 26  15  76 14 15  3  9 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-25 60.0%   2nd Half: 12-24 50.0%   Game: 55.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-13 38.5%   2nd Half:  2-11 18.2%   Game: 29.2%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-5  80.0%   2nd Half: 11-15 73.3%   Game: 75.0%   1,2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Mike Kitts, Gary Prager, Michael Stephens
Technical fouls: IUPUI-None. Marquette-None.
Attendance: 13991
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
IUPUI.........................   31   37  -   68
Marquette.....................   39   37  -   76
ID-597140
Points in the paint-IUPUI 16,MU 32. Points off turnovers-IUPUI 14,MU 17.
2nd chance points-IUPUI 6,MU 6. Fast break points-IUPUI 5,MU 13.
Bench points-IUPUI 1,MU 26. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-3 times.
Last FG-IUPUI 2nd-03:46, MU 2nd-02:29.
Largest lead-IUPUI by 6 1st-15:52, MU by 10 2nd-19:47.

Game Preview

Marquette hopes the return of Dominic James and the rest of its starting lineup can help it improve upon two straight NCAA first-round tournament exits Saturday night when it opens the 2007-08 season against IUPUI.

The 11th-ranked Golden Eagles began last season with an eight-game winning streak, en route to victories in 21 of their first 25 games before a disappointing 3-6 stretch ended with first-round eliminations from both the Big East and NCAA tournaments.

James, the team's leading scorer with 14.9 points per game, declared for the NBA draft, but changed his mind after a lackluster performance at the pre-draft workouts and returned for his junior season.

The Golden Eagles haven't advanced in the NCAA tournament since their run to the Final Four in 2003. In James' two seasons, they lost in the first round in 2006 to Alabama and last season to Michigan State, a 61-49 loss in which Marquette didn't score for nearly the first 10 minutes.

“If I decided to leave last year, I'd have been pretty upset and would've regretted it because that's not the legacy I want to leave here at Marquette,” James said. “I felt like winning was going to take care of everything. As far as my dreams and things like that, I looked at the roster coming back and I knew this was a team I could come back and win and take deep in the tournament.

“I really believe that if this team doesn't make to a Sweet Sixteen or a Final Four, it's a failure.”

The Golden Eagles return all five starters and their top seven scorers, including junior guards Wesley Matthews (12.6 ppg) and Jerel McNeal (14.7 ppg) – who complete the team's three-man backcourt with James.

“I don't want to take anything away from what this group as a relatively young group has done, but they're not young anymore and they need to play that way,” said Marquette coach Tom Crean, who is beginning his ninth season.

Crean has installed a quick, up-tempo offense in the absence of a strong presence in the paint, and the team was dealt a blow to its inside game when freshman forward Trevor Mbakwe was ruled out for the season with a left knee injury.

“That's what we want to live by, speed,” Matthews said. “We've been pushing it since we set foot on this campus. Now, it's just getting a little bit faster with more athletes.” The guards are expected to be joined by forwards Dan Fitzgerald and Dwight Burke in Saturday's lineup. Burke came off the bench in all 34 games last season, but the junior is listed ahead of senior Ousmane Barro, who started all 34 games in 2006-07 and led the team with 6.9 rebounds per game.

IUPUI, meanwhile, is the preseason favorite to win the newly renamed Summit League as it seeks its second ever NCAA tournament berth and first since 2003.

The Jaguars, who went 15-15 last season, are expected to rely on their own backcourt trio of Austin Montgomery, Gary Patterson and a healthy George Hill – the Summit League preseason player of the year. Hill was limited to five games with a foot injury in 2006-07, a season after leading IUPUI with 18.9 points per game.

“We think George is one of the best guards in the country, but we're more than just George Hill,” IUPUI coach Ron Hunter said. “From top to bottom, this is one of the best teams in school history – we're anxious to go out and prove it.”

The Golden Eagles have won six season openers in a row, dating to a 67-54 home defeat to South Alabama to start 2000-01. The Jaguars have lost all five matchups with ranked opponents by an average of 20.8 points.


Personal Tools