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Marquette rallies to hold off Utah Valley State

Nov 13, 2007 - 6:16 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Dominic James had a rough shooting night but still scored 13 points to lead No. 11 Marquette to a 66-55 victory over Utah Valley State on Monday night.

James was just 4-of-12 from the field but still managed to reach the 1,000-point mark. He entered the game needing nine points and became the 38th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

"Dominic getting over the hurdle, getting that 1,000th point when you're aware of it, it can make those points come a lot harder and he did a nice job," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "I was glad to see him go to the foul line to get 1,000 and 1,001."

The Golden Eagles trailed 34-32 at the half before outscoring the Wolverines, 34-21, over the final 20 minutes. It was the second straight uneven performance for Marquette, which survived a second-half charge to hold on for a 76-68 victory over IUPUI on Saturday.

"Well for two early season games, it's been two very good tests for us to figure out how to win at home, to figure out that defense is going to make the difference," Crean said. "Rebounding has got to become an itch for us, not something that we're trying to get to every night, but something we know we've got an edge. We're a long way from that."

Dwight Burke and David Cubillan each scored 12 points for Marquette (2-0).

Utah Valley State was coming off a heartbreaking 73-72 overtime setback at Boise State and had to settle for second tough loss Monday.

Ryan Toolson scored 20 points and Richard Trayer had 12 for the Wolverines. Toolson scored 13 of his points in the first half to help Utah Valley open its lead.

But Utah Valley State was limited to 7-of-21 (26 percent) shooting in the second half, while Marquette warmed up after a cold shooting beginning.

The Golden Eagles shot 39 percent (12-of-31) in the opening 20 minutes. Guard Jerel McNeal, who finished with seven points, was 2-of-13 from the field in the first half. Marquette picked it up after the break, shooting 13-of-26 (50 percent).

"I thought it was a nice early season test for the Golden Eagles. We were competitive and they wore us down," Utah Valley State coach Dick Hunsaker said. "I thought they really turned up the defensive pressure late in the game, and we just simply didn't have enough juice to continue to manufacture the offense. They just really disrupted us. I thought their aggressiveness and their offense just wore us down."