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The Quick & The Dirty: Marquette 84, #13 Seton Hall 64

Well, that was pretty neat, wasn’t it?

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Marquette
This photo was taken right as the whistle blew, leading to Theo John just letting go & letting Mamukelashvili fall to the ground.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Marquette played two nailbiter games against Seton Hall. One, a narrow loss due to a very late SHU comeback in New Jersey, and the other an overtime win for the Golden Eagles in Milwaukee.

This year’s iteration of the series? Going a little different, at least in the first meeting between the two.

After an early advantage for the Pirates, Marquette exploded out to lead by as many as 13 in the first half before pushing the margin as high as 23 on their way to an 84-64 win over #13 ranked Seton Hall. Marquette is now 3-2 in Big East play and sitting in fifth place, while the Pirates drop to 3-1 with their first loss in conference action, and hold onto a tie with Xavier for second place at the moment.

Seton Hall got out to a solid start, leading Marquette 9-4 early on a jumper by Desi Rodriguez That was their high point for the game, though, as a triple from Andrew Rowsey put Marquette in front for the first time (and, as it turns out, for good) with 12:51 left to go. That three-pointer was in the middle of an 11-0 run for the Golden Eagles that left them leading by six. They weren’t done there, though. After a Khadeen Carrington jumper cut the margin to just two with less than nine to play in the opening frame, MU exploded for eight straight in exactly 60 seconds. MU suddenly had their first double-digit margin of the game, and it was on from there.

Yes, the margin was only eight at the break, and yes, Seton Hall cut it to just one twice in the first four minutes of the second half. Marquette answered that challenge with another major run, scoring SIXTEEN STRAIGHT over the next four minutes to effectively end all discussions about how this was going to go. Ismael Sanogo briefly caught fire in the second half to trim the margin to only nine, but Marquette answered that, too, going on a 14-2 run capped by a three from Rowsey to slam the door shut.

The biggest task for Marquette in this game was going to be the rebounding. Seton Hall cleans the glass incredibly effectively on the offensive end of the floor, and MU’s path to victory lay in keeping them away from their usual 36% offensive rebounding rate. Mission accomplished, and rather easily at that. Marquette held Angel Delgado and his compatriots to a game-long rate of just 23.5%, highlighted by an amazing 18.8% rate in the first half. Marquette is far from a quality rebounding team (ranked between 160 and 200 for both ends of the court according to KenPom), but they managed to control a team that they had no business controlling. The major players were Sam Hauser and Matt Heldt, who had seven and five boards on the defensive end respectively, but literally every last Golden Eagle that saw action had at least one grab.

Rowsey led all scorers with 31, while Hauser chipped in 14 and Markus Howard had a quiet 12. Greg Elliott had a nifty little game with nine points, five rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Seton Hall was led by, of course, Angel Delgado who recorded a double-double on 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Sanogo had 14 to lead the visiting team in scoring.

How about some highlights, courtesy of CBS Sports Network and I promise they’re really fun.

Up Next: Marquette heads back out on the road following the biggest win of the season so far. They’ll be in Indianapolis on Friday night to tangle with Butler. The Bulldogs are coming off an 85-74 road loss to #25 Creighton on Tuesday night and have now lost three straight.