James' 19 points leads Marquette past DePaulJan 27, 2008 - 5:16 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Dominic James stepped up after several subpar performances.
James scored 19 points as No. 20 Marquette posted a 79-71 Big East Conference victory over DePaul on Saturday.
Jerel McNeal had 15 points and Lazar Hayward scored 14 for the Golden Eagles (14-4, 4-3 Big East), who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Marquette had suffered crushing back-to-back conference road losses at the hands of Louisville and Connecticut while James - the Golden Eagles' leading scorer at 13.8 points, had a total of just 12 in the two contests while battling a sore wrist.
However, James had better health against the Blue Demons, connecting on 7-of-11 from the floor to help the Golden Eagles post their 13th straight win at home.
"This was one of Dominic's best games since he's been at Marquette, because he was really spent every time he came out of the game," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "He's in great shape and I was really, really happy to see how hard he played. He had a lot of great possessions."
Marquette began the second half of the game on a 9-0 run to take a 38-27 lead with just 3:07 expired.
"It really started on the defensive end," said James of Marquette's early second-half run. "Our defense as a team is going to lead to our best offense."
After Dar Tucker dunked to cut DePaul's deficit to 55-49 with 9:58 left, Marquette went on an 11-3 spurt to take a double-digit advantage that lasted until the final seconds of the game. James had seven points during the burst, including the layup that capped it with 6:24 remaining.
The Golden Eagles, who combined to misfire on 35.5 percent (43-of-121) of their baskets in their previous two losses, shot 44 percent (29-of-66) against the Blue Demons.
"It was all confidence," said Marquette swingman Wesley Matthews, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half. "We were getting good shots, we just weren't making them. We had faith in ourselves, faith in each other, that (our shots) would start falling."
Draelon Burns and Mac Koshwal each scored 19 points for DePaul (9-10, 4-3), which shot 44 percent (28-of-94) in losing here for the seventh straight time.
"They caught us with a burst in the second half and we never were able to get over the hump," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said.
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