Thursday, January 30, 2003

No. 18 Marquette 80, East Carolina 48



MILWAUKEE - Marquette coach Tom Crean could afford to joke around after his team's second consecutive dominating victory.

"I never talk about defense. That's all the players," he said Wednesday night after the No. 18 Golden Eagles' 80-48 victory over East Carolina. "I just want to shoot 3s and score 100 points. The players want to guard and take people out of their sets."

Marquette (14-3, 6-1 Conference USA) was pretty good at shooting and scoring Wednesday night, but its work at the other end impressed Crean.

"This game was won for us on the defensive end," Crean said.

Four days after holding DePaul to 51 points and getting a season-high 12 steals, the Golden Eagles limited the Pirates (11-7, 2-5) to 34.7-percent shooting and had nine steals.

Dwyane Wade 25 points, six assists and four steals. assists.

"I think I've got so much confidence now in my teammates to know that I can go out and pressure the ball, and they've got my back," Wade said. "It just carries over to the offensive end."

The victory was the 26th in a row at home and sixth straight overall for Marquette, which visits Cincinnati on Saturday. The Bearcats lost Wednesday night to DePaul, dropping into a tie with Marquette for second place in the American Division, behind Louisville.

The Pirates who handed Marquette its only conference loss on Dec. 30, never led in the rematch, falling behind by as many as 38 points in the second half.

"We beat them in Greenville right after Christmas, and I'm sure there was payback on their mind, no doubt about it," said East Carolina coach Bill Herrion. "We got thoroughly outplayed tonight in every aspect of the game."

Gabriel Mikulas led the Pirates with 11 points.

EAST CAROLINA (11-7)-Bing 1-3 1-2 3, Mikulas 3-6 5-6 11, Badiane 3-7 1-2 7, Rivers 1-6 0-0 2, Wiley 2-10 3-4 7, MacKay 1-3 0-1 3, Holcomb-Faye 3-10 2-2 9, Boddie 1-1 0-0 2, Moore 2-3 0-0 4, Twitty 0-0 0-0 0, Grindley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-49 12-17 48.

MARQUETTE (14-3)-Townsend 5-9 0-0 13, Merritt 2-7 0-0 4, Jackson 7-15 2-2 16, Wade 10-15 5-6 25, Diener 3-5 0-0 9, Bradley 2-4 0-1 6, Novak 1-2 0-0 3, Chapman 0-3 0-0 0, Grimm 0-0 0-0 0, Sanders 2-2 0-0 4, Gries 0-1 0-0 0, Sichting 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-63 7-9 80.

Halftime-Marquette 41-23. 3-Point goals-E. Carolina 2-11 (MacKay 1-3, Holcomb-Faye 1-4, Bing 0-1, Wiley 0-1, Rivers 0-2), Marquette 9-20 (Diener 3-4, Townsend 3-6, Bradley 2-4, Novak 1-2, Gries 0-1, Chapman 0-1, Wade 0-2). Rebounds-E. Carolina 29 (Bing 7), Marquette 35 (Merritt 13). Assists-E. Carolina 11 (Mikulas, Badiane, Rivers, Holcomb-Faye 2), Marquette 18 (Wade, Diener 6).




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