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Marquette rallies to hold off Seton Hall

Jan 9, 2008 - 7:11 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Dan Fitzgerald hit a clutch 3-pointer in the closing seconds and No. 16 Marquette rallied to post a 61-56 victory over Seton Hall in a Big East Conference matchup on Tuesday.

Seton Hall led by as many as 13 late in the first half but was unable to hold off Marquette down the stretch.

Dominic James gave Marquette (12-2, 2-1 Big East) a 2-0 lead but it lasted a little more than a minute and the Golden Eagles were in catch-up mode for much of the game.

James helped Marquette regain the lead in the second half when he made a layup despite a hard foul by Jamar Nutter. James landed awkwardly on top of Nutter and left the game holding his right hand.

Maurice Acker came on and made two free throws in James' place to give the Golden Eagles a 49-47 lead, their first since the opening basket of the game.

Nursing a 58-56 lead in the closing minute, Marquette caught a break when Wesley Matthews drove to the basket but got caught in a trap under the hoop and looked like he had nowhere to go. Matthews eventually found Fitzgerald in the corner and he buried a 3-pointer to ice the game.

"I've never been around a guy that makes more big shots that really make an exclamation point for your team," Marquette coach Tom Crean said.

Jerel McNeal scored 14 points, James 13 and Fitzgerald 12 for Marquette, which has won 11 straight at home, including all nine games this season.

"It was an ugly game on both ends," Fitzgerald said. "It was all defense. The reason we won was because we held them."

Eugene Harvey scored 18 points for the Pirates (10-5, 0-2). Senior Brian Laing added 13 points and became the 34th player in Pirates' history to score 1,000 points.