Recap: Marquette vs. Murray State
Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Jae Crowder notched his second double-double of the 2012 NCAA Tournament with 17 points and 13 rebounds to punch Marquette's ticket to the Sweet 16 with a 62-53 victory over Murray State in Saturday's third-round West Region contest.
Darius Johnson-Odom netted 17 points, while Junior Cadougan and Todd Mayo scored eight points apiece for third-seeded Marquette (27-7), which will head to the Sweet 16 for the second time in as many years.
The Golden Eagles will play on Thursday in Phoenix against the survivor of Sunday's Florida/Norfolk State meeting.
Isaiah Canaan paced the Murray State (31-2) attack with 16 points to go with six rebounds. Jewuan Long added 12 points and Edward Daniel pulled down 14 boards for the sixth-seeded Racers, whose only other loss this season came Feb. 9 against Tennessee State.
"When you're playing a team like Murray State," said Johnson-Odom, "they're going to keep throwing punches and throwing punches, and you have to find a way to slow them down. We did a great job of that today."
Marquette took a four-point edge early in the second on back-to-back layups from Crowder, but Canaan scored seven of the Racers' first nine points of the second half, as his three-pointer brought Murray State back within one, 38-37, with just under 12 minutes left in the contest.
Trailing 41-39 just three minutes later, Murray State reeled off seven straight points as Long sandwiched a Donte Poole triple with two layups to give the Racers a 46-41 lead with 7:43 to play.
The Golden Eagles responded with a decisive 14-2 run over the next six-plus minutes to turn a five-point deficit into a seven-point advantage with less than two minutes to play.
Crowder took a charge on the defensive end and tallied six points in the run, while Davante Gardner netted six straight, including the go-ahead two with 5:47 left in the contest.
Murray State pulled within four twice down the stretch, but Marquette went 7-of-8 from the line in the final minute to advance to the Sweet 16.
"I just want to say how proud I am of our 14 players and of our program and of our university," said Murray State head coach Steve Prohm. "I think also we proved today that we belong, and we belonged on a national stage. We just weren't good enough the last seven minutes."
Crowder finished a layup to tie the game at 21 with just under four minutes to play, but the Racers countered with a 7-2 surge before Johnson-Odom finished a layup at the buzzer to send Marquette into the locker room trailing 28-25.
Both teams struggled from three-point range in the first half as they each shot 2-of-11 from downtown in a tightly contested first frame.Game Notes
Murray State dropped to 3-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Racers have never made a Sweet 16 in their 14 tourney appearances...Marquette defeated Syracuse in 2011 to advance to Sweet 16 before losing to UNC in the regional semifinal...Murray State finished the game a woeful 4-of-21 from three-point range, while Marquette ended slightly better at 4-of-15.