MILWAUKEE (AP) -Lazar Hayward scored 23 points and Jerel McNeal added 22, making new coach Buzz Williams a winner in No. 16 Marquette's 94-73 victory over Division II Colorado State-Pueblo in their season-opening exhibition game Saturday.
It was a successful first outing for Williams, a former Marquette assistant who was promoted after Tom Crean was hired away by Indiana in the offseason. Crean is gone, but the core players from last year's team are back, leading to high expectations in Williams' first season.
One of Marquette's three senior guards, Wesley Matthews, left the game late in the second half after he appeared to turn an ankle and had to be helped off the court. The severity of his injury was not immediately known.
ery indication that they'll continue to have the same kind of fast-paced, potent offense they were known for under Crean.
But poor free-throw shooting dogged Marquette on Saturday - they were 10-for-16 in the first half and 66.7 percent for the game - and the Golden Eagles allowed the ThunderWolves to avoid a first-half blowout with hot outside shooting.
Pueblo shot 7-for-16 from 3-point range in the first half, and the ThunderWolves' Rome Smith hit a layup at the halftime buzzer to cut Marquette's lead to 49-36.
The Golden Eagles' strong transition game took over in the second half, as Marquette opened up with a 16-8 run that included a 3-pointer and an alley-oop dunk by James and back-to-back fast-break layups by Hayward.
An acrobatic alley-oop layup by Hayward off a pass from McNeal put Marquette ahead 65-44, and Pueblo couldn't shoot its way back into contention.
With the Golden Eagles cruising to victory, Matthews collided with Pueblo's Jake Trahern at midcourt and tumbled to the floor with 4:52 left in the game. Matthews limped off the court with assistance from Marquette's trainers and did not return.
Smith scored 14 and Imari Thomas added 13 to lead the ThunderWolves.

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Final Four Odds The NCAA Tournament is down to its Final Four. Here is an updated look at the odds to win this year’s national championship.
Thumbnail Kentucky vs. UNC Total Pick Will the South Regional Finalbetween North Carolinaand Kentuckybe another high-scoring game? Here’s our take on the total.
Thumbnail Kentucky vs. North Carolina Prediction The final ticket to the Final Four will be punched today at 5:05PM ET when No. 1 North Carolina takes on No. 2 Kentucky in the...
Thumbnail Kentucky vs. UNC Public Betting Who is the public siding with in today’s anticipated Elite 8 contest between North Carolina and Kentucky at...
Thumbnail South Carolina vs. Florida Total Pick With two SEC team meeting in today’s East RegionalFinal, will No. 4 Floridaand No. 7 South Carolinaplay in a defensive battle 2:20PM ET?

NCAAB Team Pages