NCAA Tournament: West Regional
BOISE, Idaho ó Lazar Hayward scored Marquette’s first and last points.
He had plenty of big plays in between, too, scoring 26 to lead the Golden Eagles to a 58-57 win over Utah State in the first round of the West Regional.
Hayward, who was averaging 16 points, scored Marquette’s first 10 points and was almost perfect from the foul line as the Golden Eagles held off the Aggies.
“He’s a big-time player and I still don’t think he gets enough credit,” said Wesley Matthews, who had 11 points. “If you want to play off of Lazar that’s fine. We’ll just pass it to him all the time.”
The Golden Eagles blew a 14-point lead, then overcame a 49-43 deficit. Hayward spurred the comeback, muscling for key baskets and rebounds and drawing a couple of big fouls.
Hayward and Matthews both shot 5-for-6 from the foul line, where the Golden Eagles (25-9) ended up winning the game. Marquette hit 14 of 17 free throws in the second half, making 10 straight during a late stretch that put the Golden Eagles back up for good.
Jerel McNeal added 14 points for sixth-seeded Marquette, which will play Missouri n the second round.
Hayward, whose free throw with six seconds left gave Marquette a 58-54 lead, also tied for the team lead with eight rebounds. Marquette pulled down 10 of the game’s first 12 boards and led by as much as 14 in the first half with a quick pace the Aggies (30-5) couldn’t match.
Missouri 78, Cornell 59
BOISE, Idaho ó No need to trademark this slogan, even if it did work perfectly for Missouri this time.
“20 Minutes of Hell.”
It was more than enough to lift Leo Lyons, DeMarre Carroll and the Tigers to a 78-59 win over Cornell in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday.
Lyons finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Carroll, the coach’s nephew, had all but two of his 13 points in the second half to help the third-seeded Tigers (29-6) pull away after a slow opening 20 minutes.
“I thought the second half was typical of our basketball team all year long,” said coach Mike Anderson, a longtime assistant of Nolan Richardson’s in Arkansas when “40 Minutes of Hell” was a college hoops catchphrase.
Anderson is trying to bring that intensity to Missouri, and it has led to the program’s first NCAA appearance in six years ó and first win. Next up for the Tigers in the West Regional: a second-round game against Marquette on Sunday.
Ryan Wittman led the Ivy League champions with 18 points and by controlling the pace, 14th-seeded Cornell (21-10) found itself trailing by only four at the half.