James, Marquette rout Oakland to continue homestandDec 20, 2006 - 5:11 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Dominic James and Marquette are starting to get comfortable on their home floor.
James had 20 points, a season-high nine assists and six rebounds and Jerel McNeal added 17 points as the 21st-ranked Golden Eagles routed Oakland, 80-62.
Ousmane Barro collected 11 points and seven rebounds for Marquette (11-2), which shot a blistering 59 percent (29-of-49) from the field to win its second straight contest.
Despite a stellar shooting night, Golden Eagles coach Tom Crean said his team's effort on the other end of the court set the tone.
"Our No. 1 goal was to have defensive intensity for as long as we could get it," Crean said. "When you are expecting perfection on the defensive end, (Tuesday was) as close as we have gotten to it all season. Our guys were really prepared to play against a physical, battle-tested team in Oakland.
"Our guys had a lot of respect for them. We gave up too many shots in the first half, but began to shut them down in the second half."
A sophomore guard, James has been a solid scorer for the Golden Eagles this season, averaging 13.0 points over his first 12 contests. He showed his offensive prowess on Tuesday, shooting 8-of-14 from the floor, but affected the game with his passing ability.
"We need to continue to get everyone involved, make everyone feel like they are a threat and we will get open shots," James said. "As long as everyone is touching the ball, we will get open shots."
Despite James's inspired play, Marquette earned only a split in its first four games of an eight-game homestand. However, they turned in a strong effort with a 68-46 victory over Maryland-Baltimore County at the Bradley Center on Saturday and looked even better on Tuesday.
McNeal was 6-of-9 from the floor, 5-of-7 from the line and added six steals.
"This is the way I play, especially when guys cross over in front of me," McNeal said. "I do think of it as timing. If I get a hand on it, I can knock it away and give someone a chance to grab the ball."
Erik Kangas scored 16 points and Derick Nelson added 11 for the Golden Grizzlies (6-8), who shot just 31 percent (16-of-50).
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