In a game where Marquette really did not want to leave a bad impression in the NCAA tournament committee’s mind, Marquette left a bad impression in the NCAA tournament committee’s mind, losing 82-76 to Seton Hall in the Big East tournament quarterfinal round.
Marquette is now 19-12 on the season and will have to wait until Sunday evening to find out if they have done enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
As if that wasn’t enough, Marquette has now lost seven straight Big East quarterfinal games and the Golden Eagles fall to 0-4 this season at Madison Square Garden. Stupid World’s Most Famous Arena.
The Golden Eagles shot just 40% from the field in the game as they let Seton Hall turn an 12-0 run early in the second half into a 17-2 run and seize control from that point on in the game. MU finished up with a more than acceptable outing from behind the three-point arc, going 13-for-30 (43%), but that is more than just a little misleading. The Golden Eagles made five of their seven three-point attempts in the final 72 seconds of the game. In other words, they were just 8-of-23 (35%) before that, well off from their usual torrid pace. Hell, they went 3-of-4 just in the final 30 seconds of the game. It’s oddly reminiscent of the NCAA tournament game against Davidson where the shots suddenly started falling in, except Seton Hall was up 11 when Marquette suddenly got hot and able to pour in free throws down the stretch to keep the Golden Eagles at bay.
While it was that 17-2 run that kicked off while Marquette had a three point lead that ultimately tipped the game in Seton Hall’s favor, things were going against Marquette a long time before that. The Golden Eagles led by eight, 17-9, with 13 minutes left in the first half. That was MU’s biggest lead of the game, but it’s not like that was a peak that evaporated quickly. MU was up by seven, 28-21, with 5:33 left in the first half when Luke Fischer scored. At the 3:42 mark of the first half, Andrew Rowsey sank a basket, pushing the Marquette lead to six.
And yet, Angel Delgado scored by shooting over Fischer with nine seconds left in the half, Rowsey couldn’t get a shot off even though he’s usually comfortable firing from 30 feet and didn’t, and the two teams went to the locker room at halftime tied at 35. Pick whichever one of those first half leads you want to pull your hair out about and realize that this game was sliding away from the Golden Eagles long before Myles Powell drained a three to put the Pirates up 12 with a little less than 11 minutes to go.
We have two Luke Fischer notes from this game. First, the senior center scored his 1,000th point in a Marquette uniform when he sank a free throw with 8:42 left in the first half. He’s the 46th player in program history to break the 1,000 point barrier. In addition to that, he became the second player in Marquette history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 150 blocks at the 13:01 mark of the second half as he recorded his fifth rebound of the game to get him to 500. He was also tangled up with Rashed Anthony on the play and went down in a heap when his surgically repaired left shoulder was contorted at an odd angle. Fischer ended up returning to the game and told Marquette Wire’s Jack Goods afterwards that he’s good to go moving forward, as it was just a stinger.
Andrew Rowsey finished with a game high 23 points in the losing effort. Seton Hall had five players scoring in double digits, with Khadeen Carrington topping the squad with 19 points. However, it was Angel Delgado who earns Player of the Game honors. The junior wrapped up with 12 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists, just barely missing out on a triple-double.
Up Next: Selection Sunday is, well, on Sunday. CBS will start announcing the bracket at 4:30pm Central time, so mark your calendars for that and maybe make sure that you have a stiff drink standing by, just in case.