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Golden Eagles commit 25 turnovers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Marquette coach Tom Crean looked only as
far as the turnover column to find an explanation for his team's
loss.

"Turnovers were the story of the game, they really were,"
Crean said. "Sixteen in the first half; 25 in the game. … When
you commit 25 turnovers in a game, it's going to be awful tough to
beat anybody home or away."

Rodney Carney scored 29 points, and freshman guard Darius
Washington had 20 points and five assists in Memphis' 78-68 victory
over Marquette (No. 22 AP) on Thursday night.

Carney was 10-of-20 from the field, and Washington was 8-of-14
for the Tigers (9-7, 2-0 Conference USA). Anthony Rice added 17
points.

Dameon Mason led the Golden Eagles (13-2, 1-1) with 20 points,
Ryan Amoroso had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Travis Diener also
scored 16 points.

Memphis played without Jeremy Hunt, the junior guard recently
arrested on misdemeanor assault charges in connection with a
complaint filed by his former girlfriend.

Hunt missed the previous seven games with a broken left wrist
before being declared fit to play earlier this week. The university
said Thursday afternoon that he would not be in uniform until
school officials investigate the matter.

Memphis coach John Calipari improved to 4-0 against ranked teams
at home.

"The biggest thing for us is offensively, we're taking better
shots and creating better shots, which means we're shooting a
higher percentage," Calipari said. "We're good enough
defensively. We just haven't been good enough offensively."

Marquette had a season-high 25 turnovers, nine by Diener.

"That was our game plan," Carney said. "We had to pressure
Diener and get them out of their offense. We stopped him from
running up and down the court, and that really got them out of
whack."

Memphis led 41-25 at the half, with Marquette struggling against
the Memphis defense from the outset, committing six turnovers,
including three by Diener, before the first media timeout. The
Tigers converted the turnovers into baskets, both on drives and
3-pointers, eventually building the lead to 20-3 before the Golden
Eagles hit their first basket with 13:30 left.

Marquette averaged a turnover-per-minute through the first 14
minutes. Diener missed all five of his first-half shots and
mishandled the ball six times.

"They're one of the best defensive teams in the league, and we
saw why with all that length and athleticism," Crean said.

Memphis maintained its double-digit lead through the early
stages of the second half, although Rice went to the locker room
with a broken nose after catching an elbow on Diener's first field
goal of the game -- a 3-pointer-- with 17:44 left. Rice didn't
return.

The Golden Eagles closed to 63-57 when Amoroso hit a pair of
free throws, capping a 14-3 run with 4:42 left. But a 3-point play
and a 3-point basket, both by Carney, pushed the Tigers' lead back
to 10.

"The things we worked on in practice, we did in the game,"
Calipari said. "We executed. They really concentrated. They know
something is at stake now, and they're not worried about just
themselves. Now, it's about team."