Marquette tastes defeat for first time

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 20, 2011
Ralston Turner's clutch long-range shooting and LSU's hustling defense put an end to No. 10 Marquette's unbeaten run. Turner scored 22 points and LSU extended its winning streak to five games while handing Marquette its first loss of the season, 67-59 on Monday night. Turner hit two clutch 3-pointers in the final 4 minutes to give the Tigers the lead and added two free throws to make it 60-54 with 1:19 to go. Justin Hamilton then closed out a 13-point performance by making seven free throws in the last 53 seconds to ensure the Tigers (8-3) held off a comeback attempt by the Golden Eagles (10-1). Jae Crowder scored 22 points for Marquette, which raced to a 13-0 lead in the first 3:30 before LSU settled down and stormed back to take the lead with 7:50 to go in the first half. Marquette, which came in shooting nearly 50 percent on the season, was trying to improve to 11-0 for the first time since 1972-73. LSU responded by packing the inside with defenders and Marquette was uncharacteristically unable to hit shots, connecting only 36.2 percent (21 of 58). The Golden Eagles attempted 23 3-pointers, hitting only 8. LSU took mostly high percentage shots and made 53.5 percent (23 of 43), far above their 39 percent mark for the season. Storm Warren scored 10 points for LSU, all in the first half. The Tigers outrebounded Marquette 35-32 and held a 22-18 advantage in scoring inside. Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom, returning from a one-game suspension for violating team rules, scored 16 points. LSU led 29-23 when Anthony Hickey opened the second half with a 3-pointer. Jonson-Odom's layup then sparked an 8-0 run, capped by Crowder's fall-away jumper. That put Marquette ahead 31-29, but not for long. After that, it was a seesaw affair in which neither team could build a lead of more than three points until John Isaac hit a baseline jumper with 1:43 to go to make it 58-54 and send LSU coach Trent Johnson into a fist-pumping leap on the sideline. A Marquette turnover on a play that appeared to in fact deflect of LSU's Hickey led to two more free throws by Turner to make it 60-54 with 1:19 to go, and the 7-foot Hamilton wrapped it up from there. Early on, it looked like Marquette might run LSU out of its own building. Crowder scored the game's opening basket and eight of his points in the first 3:01, hitting two 3s as Marquette raced to a double-digit lead in the first 3 minutes. That's when Johnson subbed in senior reserves Warren, Chris Bass and Malcolm White, who showed more poise and got the Tigers quickly back into the game. Turner's first of four 3s gave LSU its first points nearly 4 minutes into the game and ignited an 8-0 run. After Devante Gardner scored inside as he was fouled, LSU went on a 7-0 run that was capped by Turner's three free throws after he was fouled beyond the arc, bringing an increasingly charged-up crowd to its feet. Crowder converted a 3 as he was fouled into a four-point play, briefly pushing Marquette's lead to 20-15, but LSU responded with another six straight points and took a 21-20 lead when Warren scored inside with 7:50 left in the half. Warren followed that up a few possessions later by soaring into the paint for a one-handed putback jam, clenching his fists in front of his chest as he came down while the student section behind the basket went wild. LSU went ahead 26-21 before Junior Cadougan's inside basket gave the Golden Eagles their first field goal in a span of 7:59. LSU took a 26-23 lead into halftime, and it was apparent by then that the Tigers were going to make Marquette work for everything they got.
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