Tunin' Up for the BEast, with 77-37 win

Despite the snow and cold, the Marquette Golden Eagles continued to stay hot by demolishing Savannah State, 77-37, and improving to 10-1 in a tune-up game before the start of the Big East season. Marquette went 14 men deep and never looked back after going up 4-3 early in the 1st half.

"This will make practices now that much more competitive for getting minutes. We have really stressed to the players that it is the quality of your time and what you do with those minutes that will be considered because now we can really have some fun and get ourselves ready for the strength of games," remarked Coach Tom Crean.

The Golden Eagles went on a 17-0 run in the first half and took a 46-19 lead into halftime. Thirteen of fourteen Marquette players scored while Lazar Hayward and Dominic James led Marquette with twelve points apiece. Curtis Brown paced Savannah State with nine points.

"We're maturing everyday through practice and through games. I think we just need to play hard no matter what," said forward Lazar Hayward, who led the team with 12 points and 8 boards.

A bright spot for Marquette was the return of Dan Fitzgerald who scored eleven points on 3 of 5 shooting beyond the arc and garnered four steals. Coach Crean assessed Fitzgerald's return stating, "It was great to get him back in this game before the Big East. We certainly can't do what we do in this league without him."

Marquette not only shot well from the floor, 46 percent, but also from three point range, 50% on 8 of 16 shooting. Much of the offense was initiated by a stifling defense that caused the Tigers to shoot 25.5 % from the field. The Golden Eagles held the Savannah State to 37 points, a season low for points allowed and had a season high 57 deflections.

With a team at full strength, Marquette enters Big East play at home versus the Friars of Providence on Thursday.

"I definitely feel good about going into the Big East and I think the rest of the team does too," added Hayward.

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