Hayward, Marquette cruise in tuneup gameDec 13, 2008 - 11:26 PM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Lazar Hayward and No. 24 Marquette appear ready for their first big test of the season.
Hayward scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds, leading the Golden Eagles to a 69-50 victory over IPFW on Saturday.
Jerel McNeal added 16 points and Wesley Matthews had 13 for Marquette (8-1), which faces No. 8 Tennessee in Nashville on Tuesday as part of the Big East/SEC Invitational.
"I thought Lazar was Ben Wallace on the glass," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said.
Hayward and Marquette vaulted back into the rankings and improved to 6-0 at home with a win over No. 22 Wisconsin on Monday, and now will look to boost its NCAA Tournament resume with a road victory over the top team in the SEC.
The Golden Eagles, who had four players in double figures, will face a stern challenge against an angry Volunteers (6-2) team that was upset by Temple on Saturday.
"We have to come ready, everybody, they are a good team," Matthews said.
"It's a road game so it will be a good test for us. We are all definitely excited for this one because it will be a real challenge and a good measuring tool to see where we are going to be at in the Big East."
Marquette looked good early in this one, as it opened the game on a 15-6 run and led, 38-25, after 20 minutes. Hayward had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the opening stanza.
"He is similar to Dennis Rodman in that he follows the flight of the ball as soon as they shoot it," Williams said of Hayward. "It is almost an innate talent. I don't know that it is something that you can teach. I think he has great ball instincts on both ends of the floor."
"I tried to tell those guys to let me know how many I had at some point," Hayward said. "I know they said that I had eight in the first half so I said 'Ok, I'm going to try to get to 20.'"
Hayward and the Golden Eagles also displayed some stifling defense to go with their balanced scoring attack.
Marquette held the Mastodons (4-6) to just 32 percent (19-of-59) shooting and led by double digits the entire second half.
David Carson had 17 points for IPFW, which fell to 1-3 on its season-high, seven-game road trip.
"There's a reason Marquette is ranked where they are," IPFW coach Dane Fife said. "They have very good guards, and I was surprised at how physical their big players came in and played."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
IPFW 25 25 50
MARQUETTE (24) 38 31 69 FINAL
Dec 13 4:04 PM
- NCAA BB
(24) MARQUETTE 38 HALFTIME
Dec 13 2:52 PM
- NCAA BB
(24) MARQUETTE 37 HALFTIME
Dec 13 2:48 PM
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