Marquette sank 12 threes en route to an 88-85 regular season sweep of Seton Hall as the Pirates dropped an important home game that puts more pressure on them down the stretch.
Although they were getting out-shot from the field for large stretches of the game, Seton Hall was getting it done in other areas to stay in the game for as long as they could. In addition to another low turnover count of four (SH is averaging 9.8 over their last four games), the Hall was +8 in points off turnovers, +7 on the fast break, +4 in the paint, and 9-0 in bench points.
Much like the first meeting, this one went as the guard battle did. Marquette set the tone early and Markus Howard (32 pts, 7 rebs, 3 asts) took control, but Myles Powell (18 pts) and Jordan Walker (6 pts) were able to get their team into the locker room largely intact. The second half wasn’t much better as it always felt like Howard and Andrew Rowsey (15 pts, 7 asts) were making their counterparts defend, and it showed as Powell and Khadeen Carrington (15 pts, 5 asts) fell into foul trouble mid-way through the half. The Howard/Rowsey combo out-did Carrington/Powell/Walker 47 pts / 10 asts to 39 pts / 7 asts.
Angel Delgado could have been utilized more. The big man went for a shocking 13:50 stretch of the second half (15:59 – 1:59) without any points or rebounds; Matt Heldt and Harry Froling did do a good job defensively, but that is unacceptable.
The nearly four-minute FG drought in the second half was a killer. It allowed Marquette to build a 66-56 lead with 9:34 to play and really put Seton Hall up against the ropes while knocking their offensive flow off the rails — they staged a comeback, but this was a bad setback.
Missed free throws killed Seton Hall tonight. Six different guys missed at the line and the team missed 13 (60%) free throws as a unit — that is a black eye on the box score. The Golden Eagles 12-of-19 from deep while Seton Hall was 20-of-33 from the line, that about sums it up.
Quotes from Kevin Willard on AM 970
On missed free throws: “Free throws were obviously — we’ve been shooting them much better … you have to take advantage and we just didn’t do it.”
On three-point defense: “We were doing some things, I just don’t understand. I don’t know what we were doing. You can’t let Markus Howard get going the way we let him get going. We just had some rotations I hadn’t seen us do. That’s something- we’ll go back and watch the film. … Two of the things in the second half when we came out, we just left Hauser. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t do against really good teams.”
On the offense struggling in general at times: “When you’re just taking the ball out of the net all the time, you’re giving chances for the defense to set up and your tempo gets a little low, we never really got a chance to get out and get our tempo going and get some easy stuff, and that’s something that really hurt us.”
On Matt Heldt’s strong game against Angel Delgado again: “They rotate two really big guys at him [Delgado]. Because of how much pick and roll defense you have to play against them, Angel is a little bit more away from the basket more than other teams.”
Looking ahead: “We have four of our next five on the road. We have to roll our sleeves up and go back to work and battle. And we’re going to have to do it on the road … This reminds me of the Butler loss [61-54 at home] this time last year. For as good as we played for most of the game the other night, we just didn’t have it emotionally [tonight], and that’s on me. I think I have to get the guys worked up a little bit more emotionally.”