McNeal scores 19 in No. 16/17 Marquette Victory over Hillsdale
Nov. 10, 2006
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Jerel McNeal had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead No. 16 Marquette to a 76-66 season-opening victory over Hillsdale College on Friday night.
Marquette, picked to finish fourth in the Big East in a preseason poll of coaches, pulled away from a scrappy Hillsdale team with a 12-2 run started by Dan Fitzgerald's 3-pointer and finished by Jamil Lott's four points that gave the Golden Eagles a 72-60 lead with 1:08 left to play.
Hillsdale never got the lead below eight the rest of the way.
Tim Homan scored 18 points had eight rebounds and Tony Gugino added 12 points for Hillsdale, which played its second Division I opponent of the season. It lost 83-67 Sunday at Akron.
James scored four points during a 6-0 run that helped Marquette retake the lead at 38-36 early in the second half, but Gugino hit a 3-pointer and Travis Worst made a free throw that gave Hillsdale a 40-38 lead with 16:25 left.
Marquette answered as freshman guard David Cubillan capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer that gave the Golden Eagles a 45-40 lead with 14:02 left.
Hillsdale countered Marquette's size advantage and three-guard lineup by substituting freely and constantly pressuring the ball. Marquette also went to the bench often, but never let the lead slip below seven points until late in the first half.
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