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Marquette holds off upset bid by Utah State

Friday, March 20, 2009

By The Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho -- Lazar Hayward scored 26 points and Marquette made 10 straight free throws down the stretch to beat Utah State 58-57 Friday in the first round of the West Regional.

Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews each scored 14 points for sixth-seeded Marquette (25-9), which blew a 14-point lead before rallying from a six-point deficit to win.

Jared Quayle led Utah State (30-5) with 18 points. The 11th-seeded Aggies recovered from a dismal first half by shooting 12-for-20 to start the second half, but couldn't hang on and lost their fourth straight first-round game.

Hayward put Marquette ahead 52-51 on two free throws with 1:45 left, and the Golden Eagles led the rest of the way. They advanced to play Missouri in the second round.

Missouri 78, Cornell 59

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- DeMarre Carroll scored all but two of his 13 points in the second half to help the third-seeded Tigers pull away from the plucky Big Red.

Leo Lyons finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers (29-6), the Big 12 tournament champions who returned to the NCAAs for the first time in six years and will face Marquette in the second round.

Ryan Wittman led the Ivy League champions with 18 points and 14th-seeded Cornell (21-10) hung around in this game for a half, trailing by only four.

But Mizzou's talent took over after the break and the win gave the Big 12 a clean sweep -- six wins, no losses through the first round of the tournament.

Midwest Regional

Kansas 84, North Dakota State 74

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Sherron Collins scored a season-high 32 points and went toe-to-toe with NDSU star Ben Woodside, while Cole Aldrich had 23 points to lead the defending NCAA champions.

Woodside played all 40 minutes and scored 37 points, and fellow senior Brett Winkelman had 15 points and 12 rebounds to keep third-seeeded Kansas (26-7) from getting comfortable.

Still, the Jayhawks managed to hang on and will play Dayton in the second round.

In their first season of eligibility for the tournament after a four-year waiting period following their move from Division II, the Bison (26-7) proved they belong.

They were within three points several times down the stretch, but the team from the unheralded Summit League couldn't clear that last hurdle and clearly wore down late.

South Regional

Syracuse 59, Stephen F. Austin 44

MIAMI (AP) -- Jonny Flynn scored 16 points, Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku each added 12 and the third-seeded Orange cruised past NCAA first-timer Stephen F. Austin.

Syracuse (27-9) ran out to a 20-4 lead, never letting the Southland Conference champions get anything going, and will meet Arizona State in the second round.

Benson Akpan led Stephen F. Austin (24-8) with 12 points, with Nick Shaw adding 10. The Lumberjacks missed 12 of their first 13 shots, and didn't connect from 3-point range until Walt Harris hit from the left wing with 11:25 remaining -- on their 16th try from beyond the arc.

They finished 2-for-21 from 3-point range, which played perfectly into Syracuse's hands.

Arizona State 66, Temple 57

MIAMI (AP) -- James Harden's only basket, a 3-pointer with 4:02 left, helped the Sun Devils hold off Temple and reach 25 wins for the first time since 1975.

The Sun Devils' scoring leader 1-for-8 and was held to nine points, less than half his average. Junior Derek Glasser scored a career-high 22 points and Jeff Pendergraph also had 22 for the Sun Devils, playing in the tournament for the first time since 2003.

Dionte Christmas scored 29 to lead Temple (22-12), which was eliminated in the opening round for the second year in a row and hasn't won a tournament game since 2001.

Sixth-seeded Arizona State (25-9) will play against Syracuse in the second round.

East Regional

Pittsburgh 72, East Tennessee St

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- DeJuan Blair had 27 points and 16 rebounds as the Panthers, playing their first game as a top seed, survived a frightful 40 minutes from East Tennessee State.

Pittsburgh (29-4) will play eighth-seeded Oklahoma State in the second round.

The Panthers had better improve if they want to go much further. They made 18 turnovers, struggled with ETSU's end-to-end press and hardly looked like potential national champions.

Kevin Tiggs scored 21 for the Buccaneers (23-11), who shot just 31 percent but still had a chance to become the first No. 16 to down a No. 1 until the final two minutes.

It was the 161st win for Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, tying him with North Carolina State's Everett Case (1947-52) for the best start in six seasons.

Oklahoma St. 77, Tennessee 75

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Byron Eaton found a clear path to the basket for a three-point play with 7.2 seconds left, sending the Cowboys to a scintillating victory over Tennessee.

Oklahoma State (23-11) will play top seed Pittsburgh in the second round.

Tyler Smith had a chance to win it for Tennessee (21-13), but his jumper from behind the arc hit the side of the rim and bounced up to the top of the backboard as the buzzer sounded. Smith led all scorers with 21 points.

Oklahoma State tried to set the run-and-shoot style that made it one of the nation's top scoring teams. Tennessee stuck with its halfcourt game, and it was a stalemate -- 10 ties, 17 lead changes -- until Eaton, who was playing in his first NCAA game, found that final opening.



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