Sophomores Highlight Marquette's Win

It may not have been perfect, but Marquette opened up their 2006-2007 season Sunday with a blowout win against Cardinal Stritch University. The Golden Eagles featured a balanced attack on offense and controlled the boards on defense to bury the Wolves.

The Golden Eagles opened the 2006-2007 campaign with a home win against Cardinal Stritch University on Sunday night thanks to balanced attack from Marquette's sophomore backcourt.

The trio of Dominic James, Wes Matthews and Jerel McNeal combined for 59 of Marquette's 99 points, led by 24 from Matthews, who shot 5 of 6 from three point range in only 22 minutes on the floor.

"Wes just keeps getting better. That's the best he has shot since the season started," said Crean. "He hasn't shot it as great in practice, but he is always there working on his shot and that is what happens."

James added nineteen points and seven assists while McNeal's sixteen points and seven rebounds gave an indication of what Marquette fans can expect throughout the season.

"The three sophomore guards all played very well together," said head coach Tom Crean. "In the second half, Dominic, Wesley and Jerel really did a great job of setting the tone the way they need to for this club."

Another bright spot for the Golden Eagles was the play of freshman guard David Cubillan who scored twelve points off the bench and brought a change of pace on the offensive end.

"David Cubillan gave us a great spark," said Crean. "He came in and really changed momentum for us in the first half."

Added James of Cubillan, "His on ball pressure defense was outstanding, and that helped him get his offense going. When he tires out opposing point guards, that will help me when I get back into the game."

For Marquette, Sunday night's game provided more than just a warm up for the regular season. Coach Crean reiterated how valuable playing the Wolves was to his team.

"They are so well coached," said Crean. "You want to play against teams that are well prepared like that team was tonight."

The win wrapped up a preseason for Marquette that only included just one informal scrimmage at Kansas State. However, James, McNeal, and Matthews all noted that the team was near where they want to be when Marquette tips off their season Friday against Hillsdale College. Game time is set for 7:30 at the Bradley Center. The game will count towards Marquette's regular season record, but will not be used in RPI calculations.

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