Hayward big as No. 24 Marquette beats IPFW 69-50
MILWAUKEE (AP)—After a monster day by Lazar Hayward, Marquette coach Buzz Williams invoked the names of two medium-sized NBA guys known for playing big: Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman.
Hayward certainly fit the mold on Saturday.
The 6-foot-6 Hayward was dominant in the 24th-ranked Golden Eagles’ 69-50 victory over Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne, scoring 19 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds.
“I thought Lazar was Ben Wallace on the glass,” Williams said.
Hayward is the leading rebounder for Marquette (8-1), and he does by getting position instead of through size.
“He’s similar to Dennis Rodman in regards to the way he follows the flight of the ball as soon as they shoot it,” Williams said. “It is almost an innate talent. I don’t know that it is something you can teach.”
Hayward knew he was close to a career day on the glass, asking for periodic updates from the bench—and falling a little bit short of his ultimate goal.
“I was just trying to get 20,” Hayward said.
But even in the wake of his big day, Hayward saved his broadest smile to talk about the instant offense provided by teammate Jerel McNeal. Another quick scoring spurt by McNeal put the game away in the first 5 minutes of the second half.
“He’s just a great contribution to our team,” Hayward said. “A lot of us look for him to get us going.”
And he did, just like a week ago.
Marquette started slow after going a week without a game because of final exams. But McNeal scored eight points in a decisive 12-5 run just after halftime.
For IPFW, there was no shame in not being able to stop McNeal at a critical point in the game. Wisconsin couldn’t do it last Saturday, either. Despite the long layoff, McNeal picked right up where he left off.
“There’s a reason Marquette is ranked where they are,” IPFW coach Dane Fife said. “They have very good guards, and I was surprised at how physical their big players came in and played.”
IPFW kept Marquette’s potent offense bottled up for most of the first half, and trailed by 13 at halftime.
“It was kind of an odd week,” Matthews said. “We didn’t really have a rhythm, and it showed a little bit. But we got out of it.”
David Carson scored 17 points for the Mastadons (4-6).
“We showed some flashes,” Carson said. “But I’m kind of tired of seeing flashes.”
And Fife, the former Indiana standout who is in his fourth season at IPFW but remains the youngest coach in Division I at 29, showed a few shades—of red, that is—of former Indiana coach Bobby Knight early.
After the Mastodons allowed a driving layup to Marquette’s Wesley Matthews, Fife loudly chewed out guard Zach Plackemeier and slammed his clipboard to the ground as his team huddled for a timeout.
Still, the Mastadons stayed in contention late into the first half, as Ben Botts’ 3-pointer cut the Golden Eagles’ lead to 25-18 with just under 8 minutes left in the first half. After airballing another 3-point attempt, Botts hit one from beyond the arc to cut Marquette’s lead to 25-21 with 6:27 remaining in the half.
But Marquette outscored IPFW 13-4 the rest of the way, as the Golden Eagles began to establish their more athletic inside game and Botts went cold from outside. Marquette led 38-25 at halftime.
Fife was frustrated about defensive lapses going into halftime.
“If we’re not hitting, we better get back and defend,” he said.
Marquette faces No. 8 Tennessee, which lost to Temple 88-72 on Saturday, in Nashville on Tuesday night.