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NCAA tournament: Marquette knocks BYU out of the tournament, 88-68

Published: Thursday, March 15 2012 6:27 p.m. MDT

BYU's Brandon Davies (0) sits on the bench and Craig Cusick, far right, were brought out of the game late in the game knowing Marquette will win. BYU vs. Marquette basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. NCAA Basketball Tournament 2nd round game. Thursday, March 15, 2012 (Stuart Johnson/Deseret News)

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

LOUISVILLE — Once again, BYU fell behind big in the first half of an NCAA Tournament game.

The Cougars rallied again, but this time it wasn't enough as No. 14 seed BYU fell to No. 3 Marquette, 88-68, Thursday afternoon at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

Just like they did Tuesday against Iona, the Cougars found themselves down by 15 at halftime. BYU battled back and cut the deficit to seven early in the second half but could get no closer.

The Cougars played much of the first half without senior forward Noah Hartsock, who picked up three fouls early in the first half.

Hartsock returned at the 14:47 mark of the second half, with BYU down 10. The Cougars cut the deficit to eight, but the Golden Eagles answered every time BYU rallied.

Brandon Davies scored a team-high 19 points while Hartsock finished with 15.

Marquette's Jae Crowder recorded 25 points and 16 rebounds.

The Cougars finished the season with a 26-9 record. Marquette will face No. 6 seed Murray State on Saturday.

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Replay of live game chat

Halftime recap

LOUISVILLE — If BYU's strategy is to fall behind early again, it's working.

The Cougars trail at halftime against No. 3 seed Marquette, 49-34, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville in the NCAA Tournament.

BYU is down by 15, the same deficit it faced at halftime of Tuesday's game in Dayton against Iona before staging a historic comeback.

The Golden Eagles have led by as many as 19.

Marquette star Jae Crowder, the Big East player of the year, has been dominant, having already recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Golden Eagles have drained six 3-pointers, including three by Crowder.

BYU is shooting 37 percent at intermission. The Cougars got down 14-4 within the first five minutes and are struggling to stay in the game.

Noah Hartsock picked up three fouls and sat on the bench for much of the first half.

Brandon Davies leads BYU with nine points.

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