An up and down first half turned into a pretty much straight upwards second half and YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles are now 2-1 in Big East action after picking up an 83-69 home win over Seton Hall on Tuesday night.
Marquette used a 12-0 run early on to take a 16-5 lead on Seton Hall. That was the up of the up and down. The down was the Pirates immediately embarking on an 11-0 run over the next four minutes to tie the whole thing up at 16 with 9:07 left before halftime. MU’s response to this? An 18-4 run punctuated by a transition dunk from Olivier-Maxence Prosper to take a 34-20 lead.
This very much felt like things were under control, but Seton Hall immediately slashed the margin by nine points, and only a triple from David Joplin at the horn sent Marquette to the locker room with a seven point advantage, 39-32.
That’s a 16-5 run and an 18-4 run in the first half. That’s 34-9 favoring Marquette in there..... but that means it was 23-5 favoring Seton Hall the rest of the time, and part of the five was Jop’s three at the buzzer. That’s bad! Part of the problem? Prosper sat out for 10 minutes in the first half because he picked up two early fouls, and two fouls on Oso Ighodaro limited him to just under 15 minutes of action before intermission. When one or both of those guys were off the floor? Everything seemed to go Seton Hall’s way. When they were both out there for Marquette? Nothing but good times for the Golden Eagles.
Ighodaro and Kam Jones did the scoring work to stake Marquette to a 12 point lead, 47-35, less than four minutes into the second half. That was seemingly enough to build a foundation on, as Seton Hall wouldn’t get closer than nine points ever again. They did that early in the second half, getting a pair of threes from Al-Amir Dawes less than a minute apart on either side of a Kam Jones three-pointer. 52-43 Marquette at that point, and things were looking pretty good. A jumper in the lane from Chase Ross officially nudged the lead into double digit territory for good, a pair of threes from Sean Jones — including one of the more desperate “oops, I’m in trouble, crap, crap, well, we have to shoot something, hey it went in!” shots you’ll ever see — raised the margin to 15, and with just over five minutes left, Stevie Mitchell picked Kadary Richmond’s pocket to make it 77-58. That’s a 19 point lead, Marquette’s largest of the game.
"Come on!"— BIG EAST MBB (@BIGEASTMBB) December 28, 2022
Sean Jones under duress, no problem from downtown! @MarquetteMBB in control in the second half. pic.twitter.com/JuiIAmpW3L
It must be noted that Seton Hall did cut the margin down to as few as 10 after that as head coach Shaka Smart tried to buy some rest for his starters. Seton Hall was under marching orders from first year head coach Shaheen Holloway to not go quietly into the night however, and so a bucket from Femi Odukale prompted Smart to send Prosper, Ighodaro, and Tyler Kolek back into the game..... with just over two minutes left. Nothing to really worry about.... but also let’s make sure that there isn’t anything to worry about.
It’s not a coincidence that Prosper played 14 minutes in the second half along with just over 15 from Ighodaro and Marquette looked pretty damn great. Ighodaro finished with a game high 16 points, missing just once from the field, and he did officially finish off his double-double with 10 rebounds to go with four assists, three blocks, and a steal. Prosper joined him in double-digit town with 15, and Kam Jones added 14 as well. After going for 29 points against Providence, Tyler Kolek had an off night shooting the ball, going just 1-for-5 and finishing with four points.... but he also had eight assists, three rebounds, three steals, and not a single turnover.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Fox Sports?
Up Next: Marquette will be off til this weekend when they head back out on the road for more Big East action. They’ll be visiting Villanova at the Finn, where MU picked up their first win ever last season. The Wildcats are currently 7-5 with a 1-0 mark in Big East play, but they have to visit Noted Juggernaut Connecticut on Wednesday night before beginning to prepare for Marquette.