Golden Eagles hold off Canisius

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Marquette coach Tom Crean would rather look at
the positives than the negatives.

Scott Merritt made two free throws with 2:47 left and even
though Marquette failed to score the rest of the way, the
23rd-ranked Golden Eagles held on for a 68-65 victory over Canisius
on Monday night.

"I chose to look at this game as half full instead of half
empty," said Crean, whose team was 22-for-26 from the free throw

Marquette (7-1), which was 12-for-13 from the line in the second
half, got 14 points and nine assists from Travis Diener, while
Steve Novak added 13 points and seven rebounds.

"It was not our 'A' game by any stretch of the imagination,"
Crean said. "Nobody played their 'A' game tonight but we won and
we'll move on."

Canisius (3-5), 1-50 against ranked opponents since 1968, was
led by Kevin Downey's 19 points. He was 8-for-12 from the field.

Canisius matched a season-high with nine 3-pointers and outshot
Marquette, 47.2 percent to 36.2 percent, but the Golden Griffins
were just 6-for-15 from the free throw line.

"I give them a ton of credit," Crean said. "I kept telling my
team that they are a very good team."

Leading by three points, Marquette missed three shots on one
possession before Canisius got the rebound and called a timeout
with 13 seconds left.

Dewitt Doss then missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Richard Jones chased down the rebound and missed a wild 3-point
shot from just in front of his bench. The ball bounced to Doss, who
missed a game-tying 3-pointer as time expired.

"We tried to run a play for Toby Foster but if Doss was open; I
don't mind him shooting it at all," Canisius coach Mike MacDonald
said. "Rich Jones made a great hustle play and I thought we had
two great looks."

Added Diener: "We failed to box out and then we failed to box
out again. But we made enough plays to win the game."

The lead changed hands several times early in the second half
until Marquette took a nine-point lead, its biggest of the game,
with just under 6 minutes left.

The Golden Eagles used a 10-2 run, capped by a basket by Diener,
to take a 62-53 lead with 5:43 left. But it was the last field goal
Marquette would score.

Merritt's two free throws gave Marquette a 68-61 lead. Yaku
Moton-Spruill's basket cut the deficit to 68-65 with 1:57 left, but
neither team would score after that.

On Marquette's final possession, Karon Bradley missed a
3-pointer but the rebound was tapped to Diener. After Marquette ran
some clock, Novak missed a 3-pointer but Bradley grabbed the
rebound. After more time ran off, Diener drove the lane and missed
a one-handed shot off the backboard.

A 3-pointer by Downey gave Canisius a 21-6 lead with 11:48 left.
But the Golden Eagles held the Golden Griffins to just four field
goals the rest of the half. Novak's 3-pointer gave Marquette a
35-33 lead, its first of the game, with 8 seconds left.