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James gets picked up by teammates as Marquette wins again

Nov 18, 2006 - 9:41 PM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- A very balanced effort helped Dominic James and Marquette deal with a slow start.

James scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half as the No. 17 Golden Eagles remained unbeaten with a 95-62 victory over Eastern Michigan.

Plagued by inconsistent efforts in its first two games of the season, Marquette (4-0) was able to overcome an early 8-2 deficit and an ineffective first half by James thanks to the play of fellow sophomores Wesley Matthews and Jerel McNeal.

"I thought our team played an extremely solid 30 minutes," Golden Eagles coach Tom Crean said. "Take away the first five minutes and last five minutes, I thought we played well. We are moving the ball and the key to the slow start offensively is not let the other team off to a fast start."

The guard duo combined for 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting in the opening 20 minutes as the Golden Eagles went on a 14-4 run to grab the lead at 16-12 before extending it to 44-32 at the half.

The reigning Big East Rookie of the Year, James took over thereafter by connecting on 6-of-8 shots, including three 3-pointers after the intermission.

"I didn't get my shot off early, so then I (tried) to find other ways," James said. "As I played better defense, my offense started flowing."

Matthews finished with 15 points, freshman forward Lazar Hayward had 13 and Dan Fitzgerald chipped in 12 for Marquette, which finished 13-of-27 (48 percent) from the arc.

In all, the Golden Eagles finished with a season-high 46 points from the bench, including 10 from freshman guard David Cubillan. Hayward, who highlighted the reserves' effort, also pulled down a season-high eight rebounds.

Devon Dunes was the lone player in double figures for the Eagles (1-3), who finished with 26 turnovers that the Golden Eagles turned into 32 points.

"It has been a real big focus," said McNeal, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds. "We need to get up and pressure guys and try to force turnovers anytime that we can. At times we gamble a little too much and to try to get the steals."

Marquette will now get a chance to gauge itself against much tougher competition at Texas Tech on Monday. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

"They are a quick team, big and physical," James said about the Red Raiders. "I don't see any matchup problems. Hopefully we can cause some for them. It is a great opportunity for me and my teammates to go up against a Hall of Fame coach in coach (Bob) Knight."

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