Michigan State 61, Marquette 49

Thursday, March 15th 2007, 9:15 pm
By: News On 6

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) _ Tom Izzo saved a few tricks for his first matchup against his close friend and protege. Nearly all of them came on defense.

Raymar Morgan scored eight of his 14 points during a dominating first half, and ninth-seeded Michigan State held eighth-seeded Marquette to nearly 24 points below its average during a 61-49 win in the first round of the East Regional on Thursday night.

Drew Neitzel and Marquise Gray added 12 points apiece for the Spartans (23-11), who never trailed and advanced to face the North Carolina-Eastern Kentucky winner in the second round Saturday.

The nation's fourth-best scoring defense also held Marquette scoreless for almost 10 minutes to start the game and sent the Golden Eagles to less than 32 percent shooting in one of their worst performances of the season.