Friday , Dec , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Marquette hosts Blue & Gold Classic

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – The eighth-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles are
the host team of the Pepsi Blue & Gold Classic, and they will battle the
Northwestern State Demons on the first night of the event.

Thanks to three straight victories, Northwestern State has been able to
improve to 4-2 on the young season. The team’s most recent outing took place
on Tuesday, and the Demons held on for an 89-86 triumph over Centenary. The
last two wins have come by a total of seven points, proof that the club
has performed well in pressure situations.

Marquette is fresh off a thrilling 65-62 victory over Valparaiso. While cynics
will say that the game should not have been nearly that close, the fact remains
that the Golden Eagles are a perfect 7-0. The highlight thus far was an 11-
point win over Duke in the CBE Classic championship game.

This game marks the first-ever meeting between Northwestern State and
Marquette in men’s basketball.

Northwestern State has had little trouble generating offense this season, as it
is racking up 82.5 ppg on 49.3 percent shooting from the floor, including 44
percent from three-point range. There is some room for improvement at the
defensive end, however, as the Demons are permitting 77.8 ppg to their
opponents on 53 percent shooting from the field. The leading scorer for
Northwestern State is Trey Gilder, as he is posting 14.8 ppg. Luke Rogers is
contributing 13.0 ppg, the same average of teammate Colby Bargeman. In the
three-point win over Centenary last time out, Gilder poured in 25 points in
only 22 minutes of action off the bench. Kennan Jones pitched in with 12 points
and six assists, and Keithan Hancock contributed 11 points. The Demons shot
51.8 percent from the floor in the clash and hit nine three-pointers.

Not only is Dominic James the best player on the Marquette roster, he is also
the squad’s biggest clutch performer. James nailed a three-pointer with three
seconds left against Valparaiso to give the Golden Eagles a narrow victory. He
scored 15 of his 22 points in the final six-and-a-half minutes of that clash.
Wesley Matthews netted 11 points for Marquette, while Jerel McNeal and Ousmane
Barro tallied 10 points each. Barro also pulled down 13 boards for Marquette,
which benefited tremendously from a 17-6 edge in points from the foul line.
James is averaging 18.6 ppg this season, and he is dishing out 4.1 apg as well.
McNeal adds 13.4 ppg to the mix, and Wesley Matthews is contributing 11.7 ppg.
The Golden Eagles are posting 77.4 ppg while limiting their opponents to 60.7