With Jerel McNeal in street clothes and Dominic James cramped up, MU held on for dear life at the end of the game to hold off Pittsburgh 75-71. MU finishes the Big East at 10-6 and will be the 6th seed in the Big East Tournament. The win virtually assures MU's bid to the NCAA Tournament (though few thought that was in jeopardy anyway).
The stars of today's game were still 3 guards...Matthews, James and David Cubillan. James had a career high 10 assists and played in control much of the game until he went out late with leg cramps midway through the second half. Wes Matthews scored 20 points as did Cubillan, many on key three-pointers and clutch free throws in the last minute of play. Cubillan's 20 point effort set a new collegiate high, and included a perfect night from the line (8-8).
Once again, Pitt's Levance Fields was ineffective againt the Golden Eagles tallying five points on just 2-13 from the floor against MU's deep, athletic backcourt. Fields and fellow starting guard Antonio Graves combined to shoot 3-21 against MU tonight with just 2 assists.
Marquette seniors Mike Kinsella and Jamil Lott also gave some much needed lift to Tom Crean's depleted squad. Kinsella hit a 3-pointer early in the game, his first of his career. So two minutes later he decided he would do it again....swish. Todd Rosiak comments on the Kinsella magical final home game. Jamil Lott also added a bucket and a blocked shot in the first half.
Marquette will play either St. John's or UCONN in New York at 9:00pm ET next Wednesday. St. John's will play Providence at home on Sunday. If the Johnnies win, MU will play St. John's on their home court on Wednesday.
Since joining the Big East, Tom Crean's team has taken three of the four meetings against Jamie Dixon's Panthers.
Saturday also marked the 30th anniversary recognition of the 1977 NCAA Champion Marquette Warriors. The entire team returned, a little older and a few pounds heavier, but ready to add to a wonderful day in Milwaukee. As Bo Ellis said at halftime..."we will be Warriors forever." A record crowd of 19,021 were in attendance to see the victory and the re-union of the 1977 Warriors.
- Rosiak's article
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette Recap
- Steve Yanda from the MU Trib on winning without Jerel
- Paul Day recaps the game for the MU Trib
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review Recap
- AP recap of the game
- Here is the PittBlather's open thread on the game -- these guys do a great job on their blog.
- A victory thread at MUScoop.
- Andrew Sharos recaps the win for Marquette Hoops.