"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, January 15, 2007

Golden Eagles thump the Cardinals

The home team was roadkill tonight.

The Marquette Golden Eagles raced to a 74-65 victory tonight over the Louisville Cardinals in Freedom Hall. The ballyhooed troika of James, Matthews and McNeal scored 39 of the team's 41 second-half points as MU earned its second consecutive conference road win. With the victory, Marquette improved to 16-4 overall and 3-2 in the Big East.

The Golden Eagles ended the first half with a 33-30 lead and emerged from the locker room to build up a 15-point advantage. Louisville's pressure defense quickly whittled the lead back down to seven and then to five points later in the half, but the Triple Threat dropped the hammer from that point on.

Marquette's second half surge was keyed by Dominic James, who scored 16 of his team-high 18 points after the break. The sophomore All-American hit three key 3-point baskets midway through the second half as the Cardinals rallied from the 15 point deficit. With the Golden Eagles nursing a precarious 51-46 lead at the 11-minute mark, James nailed the first of his three key 'threes'. The shot ignited a 13-4 run that pushed the MU lead back to 14 points with roughly eight minutes to play. James accounted for 11 of MU's 13 points during that stretch.

Wesley Matthews scored 17 points and pulled down five rebounds, while Jerel McNeal had 15 points and 7 assists.

The Golden Eagles' offense, anemic earlier this month, was spectacular tonight. Marquette shot an impressive 50% from the field and 82% from the free throw line (14-17). Rather than settling for forced jump shots and lazy three-pointers, MU was crisp with the ball all evening racking up 13 assists while turning the ball over just 13 times. Marquette's guards were routinely able to find the seam in the Louisville zone defense and then make the extra pass to an open shooter.

Ousmane Barro was the biggest beneficary of the effective offensive sets in the first half as he came up with a dozen points thanks to a number of fine looks from his backcourt mates. Barro finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, his second double-double in the last three games -- each on the road. With Barro leading the way, MU out-rebounded the Cardinals 32-28.

Big East Hoops analyzes MU's victory here.

Here is the AP recap.

Here is the box score.

MUScoop has the game notes here.

MUScoop has a recap of the post game interviews here.

Scout.com's recap is here.

The Louisville Courier-Journal chimes in here.

Todd Rosiak on the now surging Golden Eagles.


Anonymous said...


donald said...

Good win for Marquette. If you guys can get that much from Barro every game it'll be a great rest of the season. More of our thoughts over at http://www.bigeasthoops.com