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The Delayed & The Eventually: Seton Hall 78, #7 Marquette 75

The Golden Eagles had multiple points of failure on their way to almost escaping Newark with a win but falling short.

Marquette v Seton Hall Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The old saying is that basketball is a game of runs, and that was very evident on Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark. After things shifted very much back and forth all day long, it was the home team, the Seton Hall Pirates, celebrating a 78-75 win over YOUR #7 ranked Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette is now 11-4 on the year and 2-2 in Big East play.

Run #1 of the game came after a standard issue back-and forth start to the game for the first five minutes, and Marquette led 14-13. A steal by David Joplin led to a layup by Kam Jones, and thanks to two more turnovers from the Pirates, Marquette went on a 9-0 burst to take a 23-13 lead, with 12:47 to go. This would be, spoiler alert, MU’s largest lead of the game.

That largest lead of the game almost immediately disappeared into thin air as Seton Hall scored the next five points and 11 of the next 13, holding MU without a field goal all the way through. A layup from Isaiah Coleman made it 25-24 Marquette, and we were relatively speaking right back where we started, a back-and-forth affair.

A three from Kam Jones only momentarily stemmed the tide, and Seton Hall ripped off another six straight points — a 17-5 run — to go up 30-28 with 7:05 left in the first half. Yes, all of this was going on in the first 13 minutes of the game. It was, to say the least, a lot. SHU extended the run to 25-7, thanks to threes from Dre Davis and Al-Amir Dawes, and OOPS, Pirates up eight, 3:21 to go.

Marquette gathered themselves, and Stevie Mitchell infused some offense with a layup, a steal-powered layup, and then Sean Jones buried a three, and so the margin was just three points at the half, 42-39. Marquette scored the first bucket of the second half, a three from Mitchell, and it was almost kinda like it was actually tied at 42 at the break.

Cue a 12-2 run from Seton Hall, and now the home team had their biggest margin of the day, 10 points. Didn’t even get to the under 16 media timeout before things got wildly out of control again. That meant it was Marquette’s turn to dictate terms. A bucket from Oso Ighodaro in the paint triggered off a 10-2 run for the Golden Eagles. 56-54 Seton Hall, 11:58 to go, back where we started, anyone’s ball game.

It wasn’t really a run, but the Pirates pushed the margin back to eight, and things were starting to look a little shaky for the Golden Eagles. They had taken that lead and now found themselves fighting against the tide of the game to try to stay in it. Three-pointers from Sean Jones and David Joplin helped Marquette pop off eight straight and tie the thing up at 64 all with 6:36 to go, and then they tied it again at 66, 5:46 left.

10-0 run by Seton Hall. Not just a 10-0 run by Seton Hall, but a 6-0 run and then two ghastly cherry-picking style runouts, not on turnovers which maybe you could live with, but merely on defensive rebounds as no one got back for the Golden Eagles. 76-66 Seton Hall, 2:26 to go. That was probably it.

Except maybe it wasn’t?

Ighodaro scored to break the run, and then Joplin popped a steal free and took it in himself. Kam Jones snared a steal and nine seconds later, that turned into a three from the little homie from Memphis. Another steal by Jones — a kill on three steals for Marquette — turned into a basket from Ighodaro, and, uh, it’s a one point game with 40 seconds left, 76-75, Seton Hall.

All Marquette needs to do is get a stop from a team that suddenly can’t stop handing it to them, and then go down and score to win.

They did neither of these things. Dre Davis did good work to score a tough bucket from the left side, and after a timeout with six seconds to go and MU holding a chance to tie it with a three-pointer.... Tyler Kolek’s inbound to Oso Ighodaro was quick-tapped to David Joplin, except it was slightly over his head and it went through his hands and out of bounds.

That’s your ball game.

That last 10-0 run by Seton Hall was just the one run that Marquette could not power past and bounce back from.

You can’t ask for more from Oso Ighodaro than his 22 point, eight rebound, three assist, two block, three steal performance here. He was great, full stop. Tyler Kolek, who I did not mention at all up until his inbound with seconds to go? Not good! Five points on 1-for-6 shooting, five rebounds and six assists (that’s good), but also three turnovers, and was, for whatever reason (Seton Hall trying is at least part of this), largely invisible for large chunks of the game. Kam Jones, also not good. 5-for-15 from the field, a kind of passable but also kind of not 3-for-10 from long range. That’s 6-for-21 from Marquette’s dynamic backcourt, a pairing sometimes mentioned as one of the best backcourts in the country. 29%. They didn’t even have to be good in this game. 8-for-21, 9-for-21, and Marquette wins.

Last note, and it’s a not good one: Chase Ross left the game after just a minute played with a shoulder injury and did not return. After the game, Shaka Smart said that the training staff “got it back into place” but that’s not the kind of thing that you just go back and start playing after experiencing. We’ll see what happens.

How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and CBS Sports Network?

Up Next: Thankfully, it’s not a road game. Marquette will attempt to set a Big East record for consecutive home wins when they suit up on Wednesday night against Butler. Tipoff on CBS Sports Network is scheduled for 8pm Central. The Bulldogs have lost three straight after starting the year with a 9-2 record against Division 1 competition, including an 88-81 home contest against UConn on Friday night.