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No. 16 Marquette squeaks past Norfolk State

Nov 22, 2011 - 4:28 AM St. Thomas, VI (Sports Network) - A week made a big difference, but No. 16 Marquette still beat Norfolk State, 59-57, in an entertaining finale of the Paradise Jam.

The Golden Eagles and Spartans met last Monday, with the former rolling to a 99-68 victory. Marquette (5-0) led by as many as 16 in the rematch, but Norfolk State (3-2) stuck around and had a chance to win down the stretch.

Pendarvis Williams drained a three-pointer to tie things, 57-57, with just over two minutes left, and Marquette's Jae Crowder missed from long range on the next possession.

A turnover, though, led to Crowder's go-ahead fastbreak dunk, and Marcos Tamares was short on a three-pointer to give the ball back to the Eagles.

Darius Johnson-Odom was fouled with 28.9 seconds remaining and missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving Norfolk State one final possession.

A pump fake allowed Kyle O'Quinn to get open behind the arc, but his try went long. Chris McEachin grabbed a long rebound and threw up a desperation baseline jumper that fell well short as the buzzer sounded.

Johnson-Odom, the tournament's MVP, scored a game-high 20 points, while Crowder added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles, who shot just 5-of-20 from three-point range.

McEachin and O'Quinn led Norfolk State with 10 points apiece. O'Quinn also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.

Marquette scored the game's first eight points, and a Crowder tip-in gave the Eagles a 17-3 cushion 7:08 in.

The slow start did not overwhelm the underdogs, as an eight-point run late in the half helped them get within 33-24 at halftime.

Crowder made two straight three-pointers to extend Marquette's lead to 47-33 eight-plus minutes into the second stanza, but the Spartans answered with the next seven points to stay close.

The comeback became plausible when a 10-point spurt, capped by a McEachin layup, pulled Norfolk State even at 52-all with five minutes to play.

Game Notes

Norfolk State committed 25 turnovers in the last meeting, but only had 12 giveaways on Monday...Vander Blue went 0-for-7 from the floor for Marquette...The Eagles won the battle on the glass, 44-35.