McNeal, Marquette top Texas SouthernNov 26, 2008 - 5:30 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Jerel McNeal led five players in double figures with 20 points as 15th-ranked Marquette wore down Texas Southern en route to an 85-68 victory on Tuesday.
Lazar Hayward added 18 points and six rebounds while Wesley Matthews scored 13 for Marquette (4-0).
The Golden Eagles, who knocked down 10-of-23 (44 percent) shots from behind the arc, also got 11 points from Dominic James and 10 from Maurice Acker.
"I thought Coach (Tony) Harvey had his team ready to play," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "I thought they competed every single possession, and I thought that tonight we were not as consistent as we have been."
Texas Southern (0-4) was able to hang around for much of the first half and trailed by just six after a pair of free throws from Matthew Miller with less than four minutes remaining. But the Golden Eagles caught fire from three, sinking four during the final four minutes, including a 40-footer from James to close the half with a 38-25 lead.
"We weren't attacking, we weren't being tough," Hayward said. "We were more worried about them playing zone and not us doing what was necessary, getting certain gaps, making the extra pass, and just being tough. That's what we didn't do."
The senior trio of McNeal, Matthews and James entered the game averaging 55.4 points per game. While they were not able to dominate like they did in Marquette's first three contests of the season, they combined with Hayward to dominate the glass.
The Golden Eagles had its string of two straight 100-point games snapped and scored a season-low in points.
"I think it is good to have to gut through this, and I left some guys in the game longer than I typically leave them in because I wanted to see them gut through it," Williams said. "I have a pretty good sense of what our three perimeter players and Lazar can do, but I think those other five players that are healthy right now - those guys got to figure it out on their own in the same way."
Marquette outrebounded Texas Southern, 40-25, and used 18 offensive boards to overcome a poor shooting night. The Golden Eagles made just 24-of-61 (39 percent) from the field but sank 27-of-36 (75 percent) free throws.
"We kind of got our bad game out of the way now," Hayward said. "We always consider ourselves a mature basketball team. We take what we got today. We know what we did bad. We've all been playing together for three or four years so we don't even need to talk about all the things we did wrong because we already know."
DeAndre Hall led the Tigers with 19 points and Ricky Boyles added 14 and nine rebounds before fouling out.
- CHICAGO INVITATIONAL CHALLENGE
NCAA BB CHICAGO INVITATIONAL CHALLENGE
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
TEXAS SOUTHERN 25 40 65
MARQUETTE (15) 38 44 82 FINAL
Nov 25 10:16 PM
- CHICAGO INVITATIONAL CHALLENGE
NCAA BB TEXAS SOUTHERN 25
(15) MARQUETTE 39 HALFTIME
Nov 25 8:57 PM
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