Golden Eagles open with 30-7 run en route to second round

AUSTIN, Texas -- With a fast start in front of an almost empty arena, Marquette was off and running past the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.

Krystal Ellis and Christina Quaye each scored 17 points and sixth-seeded Marquette routed No. 11-seed Louisiana-Lafayette 87-58 Saturday in the first round of the Dayton Regional. The Golden Eagles face third-seeded Oklahoma in the second round.

Marquette (26-6) did just about anything it wanted inside or outside, bolting to a 30-7 first half lead from which Louisiana-Lafayette (25-9) never recovered.

Marquette, which finished third in the Big East in the regular season, was up 44-20 by halftime and led by as much as 32 in second half.

Jeanenne Colbert scored 17 points to lead Louisiana-Lafayette, the runner-up in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, in the Ragin' Cajuns' first NCAA Tournament game.

Attendance at the Frank Erwin Center was officially listed at 3,947 but that must have included tickets for the earlier game between Oklahoma and Southeast Missouri State. Only a couple hundred fans stayed to watch the Golden Eagles' blowout and the schools' pep bands made most of the noise.

The Ragin' Cajuns started the season here with three games in a November tournament. They won two games games back then but looked completely lost in their return, missing 15 of their first 18 shots.

Marquette kept pounding the ball inside for layups and close jumpers and Svetlana Kovalenko's 3-point play made it 30-7 with eight minutes left in the first half.

Dominated inside, Louisiana-Lafayette kept firing 3-pointers in a desperate bid to rally but went 1-of-14 in the first half.

Colbert opened the second half with a 3-pointer but any chance for a rally ended seconds later when Sonora Edwards missed a point-blank layup that would have cut the lead under 20 and Ellis nailed a 3-pointer.