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Wade powers Marquette to 26th straight home win

1/29/2003

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Marquette coach Tom Crean calls Dwyane Wade
"one of the most complete players in America,'' and Wade proved
him right Wednesday night.

Wade had 25 points, six assists and four steals as Marquette (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) routed East Carolina 80-48 for its 26th consecutive win
at home. Robert Jackson added 16 points for the Golden Eagles (14-3, 6-1 Conference USA), who won their sixth straight game overall.

The Pirates (11-7, 2-5), 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.

"Dwyane just continues to dominate at both ends right now,'' Crean said. "He's getting better defensively, and this is a really impressive stretch of games for him.''

Wade has 20 steals during Marquette's winning streak, and has scored at least 20 points in his last five outings. Though he entered Wednesday's games as the ninth-leading scorer in the nation with a 23.1 average, Wade made his biggest impact in other areas.

He had 12 points, three steals and two assists in the final 5:14 of the first half as Marquette extended its lead from 23-17 to 41-23. He started the streak by feeding Jackson for a pair of layups, then turned two steals into a dunk and a three-point play.

Wade closed the half by flashing down the lane and converting a pass from Travis Diener into a layup.

"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.''

Marquette held the Pirates to 34.7 percent field-goal shooting
and forced 16 turnovers while committing only eight. The Golden
Eagles also outrebounded the Pirates 35-29 and shot 9-of-20 on
3-pointers.

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

Gabriel Mikulas led the Pirates with 11 points.