The much-hyped matchup between the Big East’s top two scorers was not the offensive showcase many may have expected, but still a back and forth game that came down to the wire, as Marquette held on for a 70-66 victory over Seton Hall.
A sloppy first half was littered with turnovers by both teams: eight for Marquette and twelve for Seton Hall. The Golden Eagles rode Markus Howard’s 18 first half points to a 40-30 halftime lead.
Seton Hall came out hot in the second half. The Pirates tied the game at 44 with 14:07 left. Despite 12 second half turnovers, Marquette never trailed by more than three points. Trading clutch buckets down the stretch, Marquette would re-take the lead on two made free throws by 47% FT shooter Theo John. A layup by Joey Hauser and free throws from Sam Hauser would close out the win.
Especially after Marquette’s win at Creighton and Georgetown’s win over Providence, there is a close debate on whether to foul when up three with little time remaining. Up three with seven seconds left, Wojo chose to foul before Seton Hall could get a three off. Putting Quincy McKnight on the line for a one-and-one with only three seconds left proved to be a good call as Marquette would close out the game (unlike Creighton and Providence).
Howard finished with 26 points, six assists and six rebounds (also five turnovers). Sam Hauser scored his 1,000th career point on way to 13 points for the game. Joey Hauser picked up another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Despite his main responsibility being guarding Myles Powell, Sacar Anim chipped in 14 points.
Myles Powell led the Pirates with 21 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Sandro Mamukelashvili hit two early threes to finish with 13 points. Quincy McKnight spent much of the game hassling Markus Howard and still added 13 points and seven assists.
Marquette moves to 14-3 on the season and 3-1 in the Big East. This is a big win for a team that believes they can win the conference. Struggling on the road this season, Marquette has a chance to show consistency at Georgetown on Tuesday.
Seton Hall falls to 12-5 on the season and 3-2 in the Big East. The Pirates have gotten a lot of close game experience this season, with five of their last six games being decided by less than four points. Seton Hall will look to rebound on the road against a Providence team that has started 0-3 in the Big East.