Men's Basketball Eager to Start New Streak at DePaul

Feb. 13, 2007

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CHICAGO (AP) - Dominic James and Marquette look to avoid losing consecutive games for just the second time this season Wednesday when the Golden Eagles visit DePaul.

The cold shooting of James finally caught up to No. 12 Marquette (21-5, 8-3 Big East) as its eight-game winning streak came to an end with a 76-58 loss at then-No. 22 Georgetown on Saturday.

The sophomore point guard leads Marquette in scoring at 15.3 points per game, but is just 5-for-35 (14.3 percent) from the field - including 0-for-14 from 3-point range - in his last three contests.

James shot 2-for-17 Saturday as the Golden Eagles dropped to third place in the Big East.

"My shot selection probably was very poor," James said. "That just comes from not getting my teammates the ball enough. But that's the great thing about basketball - you can go home and get better and there's always the next game."

Marquette is hoping James' next game will be similar to his first one last season against DePaul (14-11, 5-6), when he had 29 points, five steals and three assists in an 82-79 victory at AllState Arena.

While James has struggled of late, center Ousmane Barro had another solid game Saturday with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double and sixth of the season. The 6-foot-10 junior has averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in his last nine games, increasing his season totals to 9.1 and 7.0, respectively.



Despite having an offense that relies primarily on guards James and fellow sophomores Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews - who combine to average 41.7 points - the Golden Eagles are 12th in the Big East in 3-point shooting at 32.9 percent.

DePaul needs a win to help its cause in reaching the Big East tournament, which it failed to qualify for last season, as well as strengthen its chances for an NCAA tournament at-large bid. The Blue Demons have won two of their last three after a three-game losing streak and are coming off a 67-66 victory over Notre Dame on Thursday.

Wilson Chandler had 25 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, but it was his block of a follow shot by Rob Kurz in the final seconds that preserved the victory. Chandler is averaging team highs of 14.8 points and 7.0 rebounds, while senior guard Sammy Meija is contributing 13.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

The Blue Demons are 1-2 against ranked opponents this season, losing to Kentucky in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 20 and to Pittsburgh on Jan. 10 around a home upset of then-No. 5 Kansas on Dec. 2.

Marquette won both games between these teams last season, going 22-for-34 (64.7 percent) from 3-point range. Golden Eagles swingman Dan Fitzgerald went 6-for-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 18 points in the most recent meeting, a 62-47 win at Marquette on Jan. 25, 2006.

The Golden Eagles have won 25 of the last 30 games in the series to take a 61-42 lead in the 90-year rivalry.

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Lazar Hayward is coming off a career-high 14 points against Georgetown.
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