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James, Marquette snap Wisconsin's home winning streak

Dec 9, 2007 - 4:41 AM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Dominic James and Marquette finally broke through against their intrastate foes.

James scored 20 points as the 15th-ranked Golden Eagles snapped a two-game losing streak against the No. 23 Badgers with an 81-76 victory on Saturday.

Not only did the 5-11 junior finally get the best of Wisconsin, but the Badgers also saw an end to their lengthy reign at the Kohl Center.

Saturday's setback for Wisconsin (6-2) was its first in 29 home games, ending the third-longest streak in the nation. The Badgers last lost at home on January 31, 2006, against Illinois.

"We wanted to push the ball," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "We wanted to get wide and it wasn't as much about calling plays as it was about having our concepts right, making sure the corners are filled, making sure we're getting into that alley area, and I thought our guys did an excellent job of differentiating between what was there on the break and then when we had to set up and make a play."

James, who had 29 points in his two previous matchups with Wisconsin, was the focal point of the offense for Marquette (6-1) early, scoring 11 points as the Golden Eagles trailed, 43-41, at the break.

The contest remained close in the second half until a jumper from James broke a 64-64 tie with 4:43 remaining.

After an offensive foul by Brian Butch, James was off the mark on another jumper, but Dwight Burke grabbed the offensive rebound and Ousmane Barro followed with a three-point play after a timeout to make it a five-point game with 3 1/2 minutes to go.

The offensive board by Burke was apart of Marquette's stellar work on the boards, finishing with a 41-34 advantage. Overall, the Golden Eagles had 21 offensive rebounds to Wisconsin's 16.

"I thought that was the key to the game because we didn't feel like we could compete at the highest level with Wisconsin if we weren't doing a great job at rebounding," Crean said. "I'm proud of the way they did that, everybody that came into the game contributed in this game and I'm happy for them, it's a big win."

"I've coached against so many teams that were bigger than teams that I've coached and outrebounded them," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "You still have to get position. You still have to go get the ball. Tonight wasn't one of those nights where we laid bodies on people. We weren't as fundamentally sound on our block-outs and it was pretty evident."

Jerel McNeal, who finished with 14 points for Marquette, added a jumper to make it 71-65 with 2:38 left and Lazar Hayward added two layups and a free throw in the closing 1:44 to seal the win.

Burke added 12 points and nine rebounds and Hayward scored 11 for the Golden Eagles, who shot 47 percent (30-of-64) in outscoring the Badgers in the paint by a 44-30 margin.

"We showed them how we played it in our hands, especially on the offensive end," Crean said. "He's (Bo Ryan) such a great coach because he takes players year in and year out, and puts them in a system exactly where he wants them and they're tough.

"So you know if you're going to come into this game, you're going to have to play with emotion, play with enthusiasm and energy, but you're going to have to be smart and you have to be tough. I think we had that smartness and that toughness that leads to maturity, and that's what we did today."

Butch had 17 points and Trevon Hughes added 16 for Wisconsin, which committed 18 turnovers and converted just 15-of-25 free throws (60 percent).