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Marquette 82, Rice 65

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It was freshmen night for Marquette.

Freshman Dominic James scored 16 points and fellow freshmen
Jerel McNeal added 14 to lead Marquette to an 82-65 victory over
Rice Friday night in the first round of the Pepsi Blue & Gold
Classic.

Marquette (1-0) advances to play Winthrop Saturday night in the
championship game of the tournament, which the Golden Eagles have
won the past six years. Winthrop beat IUPUI 73-50 in the opening
game of the tournament. In all, Marquette has won 14 straight games
in the Blue & Gold Classic.

Marquette started three freshmen and all played a role in the
win. James handed out 9 assists and grabbed 6 rebounds, McNeal also
had 6 rebounds and Wesley Matthews chipped in 7 points.

Senior Steve Novak hit 3 of 7 3-pointers to add 13 points.
Junior Jamil Lott had 9 points.

J.R. Harrison led Rice (0-1) with 18 points, while Jamal Moore
added 14 points.

Harrison's jumper with 14:42 left cut Marquettes lead to 47-40.

But the Golden Eagles went on a 15-5 run to grab a 62-45 lead
when Matthews scored on a drive with 9:30 remaining, was fouled and
hit the free throw to give Marquette its biggest lead of the game.

Rice came back to cut the lead to 66-56 when Moore scored on a
dunk with 5:14 left. But Marquette put the game away with an 8-3
run to grab a 74-59 lead with 2:48 remaining when Lott dunked off
of an assist from James.

Marquette scored the last 11 points of the first half, capped by
Ryan Amoroso's layup with 35 seconds to go, for a 39-32 halftime
lead.