Marquette 87, Louisiana-Lafayette 58

Saturday, March 17th 2007, 4:59 pm
By: News On 6

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ With a fast start in front of almost empty arena, Marquette was off and running past the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.

Krystal Ellis and Christina Quaye each scored 17 points and 6th-seeded Marquette routed No. 11-seed Louisiana-Lafayette 87-58 Saturday in the first round of the Dayton Regional.

Marquette (26-6) did just about anything it wanted inside or outside, bolting to a 30-7 1st half lead from which Louisiana-Lafayette (25-9) never recovered.

Marquette, which finished 3rd in the Big East in the regular season, was up 44-20 by halftime and led by as much as 32 in second half.

Jeanenne Colbert scored 17 points to lead Louisiana-Lafayette, the runner-up in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, in the Ragin' Cajuns' first NCAA tournament game.

Attendance at the Frank Erwin Center was officially listed at 3,947 but that must have included tickets for the earlier game between Oklahoma and Southeast Missouri State. Only a couple hundred fans stayed to watch the Golden Eagles' blowout and the schools' pep bands made most of the noise.

The Ragin' Cajuns started the season here with three games in a November tournament. They won two games games back then but looked completely lost in their return, missing 15 of their first 18 shots.

Marquette kept pounding the ball inside for layups and close jumpers and Svetlana Kovalenko's 3-point play made it 30-7 with 8-minutes left in the 1st half.

Dominated inside, Louisiana-Lafayette kept firing 3-pointers in a desperate bid to rally but went 1-14 in the 1st half.

Colbert opened the 2nd half with a 3-pointer but any chance for a rally ended seconds later when Sonora Edwards missed a point-blank layup that would have cut the lead under 20 and Ellis nailed a 3-pointer.