Marquette pulls away from Florida Gulf CoastMar 5, 2008 - 6:26 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Once Marquette got a wake-up call, Florida Gulf Coast did not stand a chance.
Lazar Hayward scored 18 points and the 20th-ranked Golden Eagles used a big second-half run to overpower the Eagles, 67-37, in a non-conference matchup Tuesday night.
Wesley Matthews added 12 points and Jerel McNeal 11 for Marquette (22-7), which bounced back from a 70-68 overtime loss to Georgetown on Saturday that snapped a five-game winning streak.
Florida Gulf Coast (10-21), which is in its first full season as a Division I team, appeared to be overmatched, especially when the Golden Eagles raced to a 16-4 lead behind 11 points from Hayward, who buried three 3-pointers in the first 4 1/2 minutes.
After the deficit was whittle to six points, Hayward scored four points in a 6-0 closing run to give Marquette what appeared to be a comfortable 30-17 halftime cushion.
It was the fewest points ever allowed in a half by the Golden Eagles, who held Florida Gulf Coast to 24 percent (6-of-25) shooting in the first 20 minutes.
However, the Eagles opened the second half with an 8-0 spurt, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Rob Quaintance and Casey Wohlleb to get within 30-25.
Marquette seemed to snap out of its doldrums at the point, going on a 16-2 tear that featured shots from the arc by James, Dan Fitzgerald and Maurice Acker for a 46-27 bulge with just over 12 minutes remaining.
A jumper by James with just over 7 1/2 minutes left capped a 30-6 surge and put the Golden Eagles in command, 60-31.
Hayward shot 6-of-12 from the field and also grabbed 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. He helped Marquette to a 33-23 edge on the glass.
Four players scored six points apiece for Florida Gulf Coast, which shot a wretched 26.5 percent (13-of-49) from the floor and connected on just 4-of-19 shots from the arc.
Leading scorer Wohlleb, who entered averaging 17.0 points per game, epitomized the woes, connecting on just 1-of-11 shots and committing five of the Eagles' 25 turnovers.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
FLA GULF COAST 17 20 37
MARQUETTE (20) 30 37 67 FINAL
Mar 4 10:00 PM
- NCAA BB
FLA GULF COAST 17
(20) MARQUETTE 30 HALFTIME
Mar 4 8:53 PM
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