Barro leads No. 8 Marquette past Northwestern State
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Ousmane Barro had a career-high 21 points and matched a career-high with 13 rebounds, as the eighth-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles downed the Northwestern State Demons, 83-67, on the first night of the Pepsi Blue & Gold Classic.
"His [Barro] confidence has been growing since he's been here," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "He works extremely hard and often times he's the first one in the gym. Everyone is proud of him. He can continue to get better and it's great for him. It's great to watch someone who puts so much time into it. He is achieving what is emphasized. He has really come a long way."
Marquette will face North Dakota State in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday.
Dominic James scored 19 points for the Golden Eagles (8-0), who are fresh off a thrilling 65-62 victory over Valparaiso. Wesley Mathews posted 14 points and eight rebounds, and Jerel McNeal added 13 points.
Colby Bargeman scored 17 points for Northwestern State (4-3), which had a three-game winning streak snapped. Trey Gilder added 13 points as the only other Demon in double figures. Luke Rogers contributed nine points and seven boards.
Marquette held a 36-32 halftime lead, but blew the game open in the second.
The Golden Eagles opened the second half on a 14-0 run capped by a McNeal steal and breakaway layup for a 50-32 lead with 16:47 remaining. The Demons never got within eight thereafter.
Marquette shot 33-for-68 (48.5 percent) from the field, compared to 23-for-59 (39 percent) by Northwestern State. Marquette also dominated the boards, outrebounding the Demons 53-26.
"Rebounding has been a big emphasis for this team," Matthews said. "If you can out-rebound a team the way we have, good things are going to happen."
This game marked the first-ever meeting between Northwestern State and Marquette in men's basketball.
12/02 01:03:17 ET