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Marquette Ousts Syracuse To Reach Sweet 16

Dwight Buycks of the Marquette Golden Eagles drives to the basket against James Southerland of the Syracuse Orange during the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Dwight Buycks of the Marquette Golden Eagles drives to the basket against James Southerland of the Syracuse Orange during the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (Sports Network) – Darius Johnson-Odom made the go-ahead three- pointer with 25.1 seconds remaining, as Marquette took down Big East foe Syracuse, 66-62, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Johnson-Odom ended with 17 points for the Golden Eagles (22-14), who are off to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003.

Jae Crowder added 16 points off the bench for Marquette, which beat sixth- seeded Xavier, 66-55, on Friday.

The No. 11 seed in the East Region, Marquette will next take on second-seeded North Carolina. The Golden Eagles have one national title (1977) in their history.

Dion Waiters finished with 18 points for the third-seeded Orange (27-8), who were trying to reach the Sweet 16 for a third consecutive season. Waiters played most of the second half due to Brandon Triche sitting with a bruised tailbone.

Kris Joseph tallied 12 points and nine rebounds for Syracuse, which rolled to a 77-60 decision over 14th-seeded Indiana State on Friday. Triche had eight points before getting injured early in the second half.

Marquette played Syracuse once in the regular season, beating the Orange, 76-70, on January 29th.

“I thought it was a great game,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I thought both teams just went at it for 40 minutes.”

Layups from Waiters and Rick Jackson gave Syracuse a 59-56 edge with under three minutes to play.

But Crowder made a three-pointer at the other end to tie things up. Jimmy Butler then stole the ball from James Southerland to give Marquette the ball again. Junior Cadougan failed to make a jumper, though, and Waiters grabbed the rebound for the Orange.

Following a timeout, Syracuse was called for an over-and-back violation on the inbound pass with 51.6 seconds to go.

Johnson-Odom then put the Golden Eagles in front for good with a shot from beyond the arc. Scoop Jardine, who was limited to six points on 2-of-8 shooting, missed a three-pointer at the other end.

“We were getting a lot of ball movement. The ball wasn’t sticking in nobody’s hand,” Johnson-Odom said. “We kept moving it, kept moving it, trying to penetrate, trying to attack. I know it came down to the end of the shot clock. And Jimmy made a hard dribble to the left, and I happened to be spotting up right behind him. He just found the open man, what we do every day, and luckily I knocked the shot down.”

Cadougan and Crowder each made two free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Syracuse held a 19-9 lead midway through the first half, but the Golden Eagles used a 12-2 run to tie the game. Johnson-Odom tallied eight points during the burst, including a three-pointer with less than 5 1/2 minutes left to make it 21-21.

Johnson-Odom’s layup and a Butler jumper prior to the half gave Marquette a 34-31 edge at the break.

The Orange surged ahead early in the second half, but Marquette fought right back, and it remained close until the final buzzer.

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