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Marquette Stops Blue Demons


MILWAUKEE -– Dwayne Wade scored 21 points and had a career-high seven steals, and Todd Townsend made four 3-pointers in the opening nine minutes as (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) Marquette beat DePaul 72-51.

Sparked by Wade's steals, the Golden Eagles (13-3, 5-1 Conference USA) pulled away early in beating DePaul (10-6, 2-3) for the fifth straight time. After trailing 3-2 in the opening minutes, Marquette led the rest of the way.

"Great players find ways to get their points,'' DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. "That's what great players do.''

Early on, Wade didn't mind letting Townsend take the shots for Marquette. Townsend hit his first four shots, which accounted for all 12 of his points, to help the Golden Eagles build an insurmountable 32-14 lead.

Townsend, whose 3-pointers were the most by a Marquette player this season, certainly caught the attention of Leitao.

"On two of those four (3-pointers) we had guys inside his shirt,'' Leitao said. "That certainly played a big role in them getting out to a big lead.''

Travis Diener scored 11 points for the Golden Eagles.

Sam Hoskin had 11 points for the Blue Demons, who trailed 32-18 at halftime.

After scoring the first basket of the second half, the Blue Demons were outscored 10-2 to fall behind 42-22. They were unable to make a big comeback against Marquette's zone defense, virtually trading baskets for most of the final 15 minutes.

DePaul was within 60-46 with four minutes to play after a three-point play by Marlon Brooks and a 3-pointer by Quemont Greer. But the Golden Eagles wrapped it up with 10 free throws and a 3-pointer by Steve Novak down the stretch.

DePaul shot 30 percent (6-for-20) in the first half and improved to 44 percent (20-for-46) by going inside in the second half. Marquette shot 46 percent (18-for-39) and won easily despite being outrebounded 30-20.

The Blue Demons also hurt themselves with 19 turnovers. Marquette had only nine.