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Marquette ekes one out

Jae Crowder, who scores 26, celebrates No. 10 Mar­quette’s 61-60 win over West Virginia. The Golden Eagles bench three starters for the first half then rally from a 15-point deficit.

Associated Press

Jae Crowder, who scores 26, celebrates No. 10 Mar­quette’s 61-60 win over West Virginia. The Golden Eagles bench three starters for the first half then rally from a 15-point deficit.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jae Crowder scored 26 as No. 10 Marquette, after benching three starters for the first half, overcame a double-digit deficit to beat West Virginia 61-60 on Friday.

Darius Johnson-Odom, the Golden Eagles' leading scorer, sat with Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue due to an undisclosed violation of team rules. Todd Mayo, normally a reserve, started but sat out the second half for the violation.

Still, the Golden Eagles (24-5, 13-3 Big East) won their fifth in a row and 12th in the past 13 games to move half a game ahead of Notre Dame for second in the Big East.

The Mountaineers (17-12, 7-9) might need to win their last two regular-season games — including March 3 vs. USF at the Tampa Bay Times Forum — plus go far in the Big East tournament to make their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament.

Marquette trailed by 15 early in the second half. But Crowder and Johnson-Odom led a 24-8 run. Cadougan's layup put the Golden Eagles ahead to stay, 54-53, with 4:17 left. West Virginia had a chance to win it, but Darryl "Truck" Bryant missed a wild, off-balance shot from the baseline with two seconds left.

Bryant led West Virginia with 25 points. Teammate Kevin Jones, the conference's leading scorer and rebounder, spent most of the game in foul trouble and was limited to 12 points and six rebounds.

Alabama: Forward JaMychal Green will be available against Mississippi State today after a four-game suspension, coach Anthony Grant said. The Tide's leading scorer and rebounder violated unspecified team rules. Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele missed one game and Tony Mitchell is suspended for the rest of the season for the undisclosed violations.

Michigan: Reserve forward Jon Horford, out since Dec. 10 with a right foot injury, will not return this season, the school said.

Radford: The program lost two scholarships over two seasons and was placed on probation for recruiting inducements and extra benefits. Brad Greenberg — USF's former director of basketball operations and the brother of Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg — was Radford's coach until last season and got a five-year show-cause sanction for misleading investigators. Any school wanting to hire him must petition the NCAA and "show cause" why it shouldn't be sanctioned for doing so.

Women: Duke wins battle of top-10 teams

DURHAM, N.C. — Elizabeth Williams scored 19 to lead No. 7 Duke past No. 5 Miami 74-64.

The Blue Devils (23-4, 14-1) clinched the No. 1 seed for next week's ACC tournament for the third consecutive season. The Hurricanes (24-4, 13-2) had won 13 in a row.

Trailed 67-53 with 5½ minutes left, Miami reeled off 11 straight points — all but two coming at the free-throw line. But Chelsea Gray made a driving layup with 1:15 left, and she and Tricia Liston combined to make 5 of 7 free throws to seal it.

No. 1 Baylor 76, Kansas 45: Brittney Griner scored 20 in 28 minutes of action for the visiting Bears (29-0, 16-0 Big 12). A 22-0 run over 8:24 made it 25-3.

No. 6 Maryland 84, N. Carolina 64: Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the host Terps (24-4, 11-4 ACC), who led by 24 at halftime.

Marquette ekes one out 02/24/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 25, 2012 12:27am]

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