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Barro leads Marquette past Northwestern State

Dec 2, 2006 - 5:12 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Ousmane Barro was not going to let Marquette lose again in its home tournament.

Barro scored 21 points and hauled down 13 rebounds as No. 9 Marquette posted an 83-67 victory over Northwestern State in the opening round of the Blue and Gold Classic.

Dominic James scored 19 points and Wesley Matthews added 14, eight rebounds and five assists for the Golden Eagles (8-0), who have won 11 straight games at the Bradley Center.

Marquette will face North Dakota State in Saturday's championship. Northwestern State meets Princeton in the consolation matchup.

The Golden Eagles had won six straight Blue and Gold Classic titles until they were upset by Winthrop in the championship game last season.

However, the Golden Eagles are 42-3 in first-round games and have not lost an opening contest since 1966.

Barro tallied his second straight double-double for Marquette, which shot 49 percent (33-of-68) from the field.

"Ousmane has a lot of potential, great upside and plays with confidence," James said. "When he plays, the team's energy goes through the roof. He just has to continue to play that way."

Barro shot 10-of-13 from the field and blocks three shots.

"His (Barro) confidence has been growing since he (has) been here," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "He works extremely hard and often times, he's the first one in the gym. Everyone is proud of him.

"He can continue to get better and it's great for him. It's great to watch someone who puts so much time into it. He is achieving what is emphasized. He has really come a long way."

The Golden Eagles were dominate, outrebounding the Demons, 53 to 26.

"Rebounding has been a big emphasis for this team," Matthews said. "If you can outrebound a team the way we have, good things are going to happen."

Colby Bargeman scored 17 points and Trey Gilder added 13 for Northwestern State (4-3), which had won three in a row.

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