for this game

Hayward, early run key Marquette's rout

Feb 13, 2008 - 4:57 AM SOUTH ORANGE, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Marquette's early spurt put Seton Hall in too big a hole for the Pirates to escape.

Lazar Hayward tied a career high with 23 points and had nine rebounds as the 25th-ranked Golden Eagles snapped a two-game skid with a decisive 89-64 victory over the Pirates in the Big East Conference on Tuesday.

Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews each scored 14 points for Marquette (17-6, 7-5 Big East), which improved to 2-4 on the road in conference play this season.

"We got off to a good start offensively and rebounded well," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "Our No. 1 goal tonight was to take their break away. They're an outstanding running team especially at home and we didn't let them get on track with that."

The Golden Eagles made 10-of-21 shots from the arc during the contest, but it was an early burst that helped them take control of the game.

Leading by two points, Marquette went on a 15-0 run to take a 21-4 advantage with 8:43 left in the first half. Seton Hall missed 10 straight shots and went scoreless for nine minutes during the stretch.

"I have to give credit to Marquette," Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "They came out and played unbelievable defense in the first 10 minutes and set the tone of the game. Marquette's a good team and it's tough to be down that much."

The Pirates (15-10, 5-7) never cut the lead to single digits thereafter and Marquette continued to dominate, opening a 37-14 bulge on Ousmane Barro's dunk with just under two minutes left in the first half.

Hayward had 12 of his points and seven rebounds to pace the Golden Eagles, who outrebounded Seton Hall, 26-14, in the first half and held a 40-22 advantage at the break.

"(Hayward) has always had confidence," Crean said. "He is very hungry to improve and he has been a good teammate to these guys. And the guys really look for him and they know that they could really count on him."

Marquette scored the first five points after intermission and opened its biggest lead at 67-49 on McNeal's 3-pointer with 10:02 to play.

The frustration mounted for Seton Hall midway through the second half when the Jamar Nutter elbowed Dominic James in the throat while cutting to the basket. A senior captain, Nutter was ejected from the contest for a flagrant foul.

The Golden Eagles had a 25-4 advantage in second-chance points and also outscored Seton Hall, 33-14, in points off turnovers.

Jeremy Hazell scored 18 points and Brian Laing had 17 to pace the Pirates, who have lost four straight contests after a five-game winning streak.

"Another tough loss for us," Gonzalez said. "Three out of the last four teams that we played, I think have just been better than us - Georgetown, Notre Dame, Marquette. I think that we just got outclassed tonight."

    --- --- -----
    MARQUETTE (25) 40 49 89
    SETON HALL 22 42 64 FINAL

    Feb 12 9:44 PM

    (25) MARQUETTE 40

    Feb 12 8:27 PM