Marquette holds off NC Central 75-66

MARK KASS (Associated Press)
The Associated Press
Marquette holds off NC Central 75-66
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Marquette's Junior Cadougan makes a steal leaving North Carolina Centrals' Ray Willis, center, and teammate Emmanuel Chapman on the floor during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue scored 16 points each to help Marquette hold off North Carolina Central 75-66 Saturday in its final tuneup before Big East Conference play.

Todd Mayo added 12 points for Marquette (9-3), which opens Big East play Tuesday at home against Connecticut.

Jeremy Ingram scored 20 points and Stanton Kidd had 19 for North Carolina Central (6-7).

NC Central went on a 10-2 run to cut Marquette's lead to 54-53 when Ingram hit a 3-pointer with 11:03 remaining. Ingram's driving layup with 6:27 left tied the score at 60-60.

Marquette scored the next seven points, including four by Cadougan, to grab a 67-60 lead with 3:08 remaining.

Ray Willis' 3-pointer trimmed the lead to 67-63, but Cadougan hit two free throws with 2:26 left and Blue hit a 3-pointer from the corner to push the lead to 72-63 with 1:30 remaining and put the game away.