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The Quick & The Dirty: Seton Hall 70, Marquette 63

The Golden Eagles fell behind by 10 in the opening minutes, took nearly the entire game to tie it up again, and couldn’t bring it home.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Creighton
D.J. Carton scored 10 straight late for Marquette to tie the game at 61.
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it happened again.

After knocking off a top 10 team on the road on Monday night, Marquette spent Thursday night falling behind by 10 in the first 7:30 of their game against Seton Hall. It took until there was less than two minutes left for the Golden Eagles to finally completely wipe that lead out and tie the game for the first time since trailing 17-7, but it didn’t matter. MU would score just two more points the rest of the way as Seton Hall tacked on nine more for the 70-63 victory. Marquette is now 5-3 on the year and 1-1 in Big East play.

I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with anything resembling a detailed recap of this game. As far as I’m concerned, everything between Shavar Reynolds’ jumper at the 12:29 mark of the first half to put Marquette in a 17-7 hole and D.J. Carton’s three-pointer at the 1:52 mark of the second half that tied the game at 61 can be summarized pretty quickly: Marquette kept making vague gestures in the direction of making a comeback, repeatedly cutting the lead to as few as four points, but Seton Hall kept cutting them off at the pass right about then. There’s no bigger example — literally — of this than the 6’11” Sandro Mamukelashvili tipping a Theo John pass for a steal and a breakaway dunk for himself to make the lead six points at the half, 34-28. Marquette had not one but two tries in the 1:14 remaining after Mamu’s dunk to get it back to four, but they failed with a Justin Lewis turnover and a Koby McEwen miss at the buzzer.

Seton Hall scored the first four out of the locker room, and the lead was back to 10 and the whole thing just started over again. Down to six, back to 10, blah blah, you get the point. I guess we could say the big push started with Justin Lewis canning a three with 7:04 to go. That cut the lead to — surprise — six at 57-51. Carton got a layup next time down the court, and then Carton eventually answered a Tyrese Samuel layup with a pair of freebies. A three from — you guessed it — Carton trimmed the lead to just 1, 59-58, and then Carton again returned fire after a Takal Molson layup to knot it at 61.

10 straight points just from D.J. Carton to get this thing tied up and put it into “anybody’s ballgame” territory.

An offensive foul on Lewis — don’t slam into stationary guys in the post, kids — led to a Reynolds three that turned into five straight points for the visiting Pirates because Koby McEwen took at least three steps after catching the ball on the deep left wing. 66-61. Dawson Garcia fought a second chance up and in with 12 seconds left, but Reynolds iced the game at the line. The end.

Seton Hall was led by a 17/6/7 night from Mamukelashvili, who was a revelation to watch as a distributor while moving through traffic. Time after time he found open guys on the arc from in the lane, sometimes while driving into the paint himself. Very impressive work from the big Georgian.

D.J. Carton’s late 10 points gave him a Marquette high score of 16 in the game, and he added three rebounds and three assists. He was also responsible for four of the team’s 14 turnovers, as the Golden Eagles coughed it up on 21% of possessions in the game. Dawson Garcia grabbed up 12 rebounds to go with eight points, while Theo John had a 13 point night to go with four blocks.

Up Next: Marquette goes out on the road for their next Big East contest, which comes by way of a trip down to the Queen City to see Xavier. The Musketeers are 7-0 on the season and are earning votes in the Associated Press poll. They’re coming off of wins over Cincinnati and Oklahoma, but they have not played since knocking off the Sooners on December 9th due to a COVID related pause in activities.