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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Marquette stifles Seton Hall

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— Jerel McNeal scored 21 points, and No. 25 Marquette held Seton Hall scoreless over the final five minutes of a 67-54 victory Wednesday night in the opening round of the Big East tournament.

The sixth-seeded Golden Eagles (23-8) will play third-seeded and 14th-ranked Notre Dame in the quarterfinals tonight.

Both teams struggled offensively, with Marquette shooting 34.4 percent (22-for-64), while Seton Hall shot 33.9 percent (20-for-59). The Pirates' plan worked well for 35 minutes as they were within 57-54 before ending the game by coming up empty on their last 10 possessions. The Golden Eagles closed with a 10-0 run.

Jamar Nutter and Eugene Harvey both had 15 points for Seton Hall (17-15), which lost its fourth straight overall and third this season to Marquette. This was the Pirates' fourth straight first-round loss in the Big East and they have lost five in a row at Madison Square Garden.

Lazar Hayward had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Marquette, while Dominic James added 11 points.

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