Friday, Jan. 2, 2009

Marquette impressive in first Big East game, beats Villanova 79-

By Nicole
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You know when watching the Golden Eagles play this season that you're going to see Jerel McNeal, Wesley Matthews and Dominic James make great plays.

But who are Pat Hazel and Jimmy Butler?

Most of the non-conference games this season have been shown on the Time Warner Channel, so my Direct TV loving household is woefully behind on MU bball. I had no idea who these guys are, but I was pretty impressed with them today.

Marquette's size (or lack thereof) is going to be an issue all season, but Hazel and Butler, teamed with Dwight Burke, kept Nova from the paint and held their front three to just 20 points (16 by Cunningham, four by Clark and none from Pena.)

McNeal led all scorers with 24. Marquette got just two points from the bench, which could be a problematic trend for the team as the season progresses. (Villanova, for comparison, had 27 points from their bench.)

From Cracked

In a game that saw 10 ties, MU used back-to-back jumpers by Mathews and a 3 pointer by McNeal to pace an 11-2 late run that built a 71-61 lead.  Matthews, McNeal and Lazar Hayward then combined for 13 of 14 from the line to seal the victory.

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