No. 19 Marquette Victorious Over Morgan State, 77-57

Dec. 22, 2006

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -Jerel McNeal scored 15 of his career-high 25 points in the decisive first half to lead No. 19 Marquette to a 77-57 victory over Morgan State on Friday night.

The sophomore guard went 8-of-15 from the field and a personal best 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

He matched his career high with seven assists for Marquette (12-2), which never trailed. McNeal went to the bench with 3 minutes to play and Marquette leading 73-53.

Dan Fitzgerald added 11 points for the Golden Eagles.

Reggie Holmes had three 3-pointers and scored 13 points and Ronald Timus and Jamar Smith each had 12 points for the Bears (2-8), who dropped to 0-5 on the road this season, losing by an average margin of 17.4 points.

McNeal's previous career high was 19 points which he reached three times, the last against Texas Tech on Nov. 20.

McNeal had a basket, an assist and a steal as Marquette opened the game with a 10-0 run. Morgan State missed its first seven shots before Boubacar Coly scored to end the Golden Eagles' run.

Marquette scored 14 points off 13 turnovers in the first half. The Bears were unable to handle Marquette's pressure in the second half as well and that led to 14 more points.

McNeal hit a floating jump shot, a 3-pointer and then stole the ball and laid it in for a 34-17 lead with 6:00 left in the half.

Smith's basket capped a 7-2 run that pulled Morgan State within eight points, but Marquette answered with a 15-3 run that pushed the lead to 65-45 with just under 10 minutes left. The Bears, who dropped to 0-5 all-time against Marquette, never got closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

The victory sends the Golden Eagles into a weeklong Christmas break before facing Savannah State on Dec. 30. They open Big East play at Providence on Jan. 4.

Morgan State's only bright spots were outrebounding Marquette 36-27 and holding them below the 85.7 points which the Bears came in allowing their opponents to score.

The Bears opened the season with six straight losses before winning two games. They lost 102-76 to La Salle on Wednesday.




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