Men’s basketball survives another late Seton Hall surge

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Men’s basketball survives another late Seton Hall surge

Luke Fischer scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Marquette's victory against Seton Hall.

Luke Fischer scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Marquette's victory against Seton Hall.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Luke Fischer scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Marquette's victory against Seton Hall.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Luke Fischer scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Marquette's victory against Seton Hall.

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For the second time in a week and a half, Marquette blew a lead against Seton Hall in the final minute and all of the signs pointed to yet another disappointing finish. However, thanks to timely free throw shooting and clutch defense down the stretch, Marquette scraped by in overtime to eek out an 89-86 win on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center. With the win, Marquette is now back to .500 in conference play at 2-2 and 11-5 overall.

Marquette appeared to be heading to victory with 40.7 seconds left as it was up seven. However, Khadeen Carrington scored seven straight points, including a fadeaway jump shot with just 2.7 seconds remaining to force overtime.

In the extra period, it was Matt Heldt, who did not play in the second half, helped the Golden Eagles secure a victory. Heldt finished with just one point, but grabbed four rebounds and drew a charge, as well as played key defense on Angel Delgado. Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski praised Heldt and the rest of Marquette for their grittiness in overtime.

“We showed great toughness,” Wojciechowski said. “After losing a lead and going to overtime, it would have been very easy for our group not to be able to bounce back because obviously it was deflating. Certainly the memory of Newark is fresh in our guys’ minds. So I was really concerned before overtime started in that huddle, that our guys were not where they may have needed to be, mentally. And I was wrong.”

The Golden Eagles started off the game hot, and at one point, went on a 15-0 run, only to be answered later in the half by Seton Hall’s own 15-0 run. Haanif Cheatham started strong, scoring seven of his 17 points in the first half. That ended a low-scoring stretch of games, and was far different than the two teams’ last matchup, when Cheatham did not register a single point. Marquette led 35-30 at the break, shooting 15 for 27 for 55.6 percent from the field, while Seton Hall only shot 30 percent heading into the half.

In the second half, the Golden Eagles fed center and sleeping giant Luke Fischer, who woke from his first half struggles to score 10 second half points, grab seven rebounds and record one block and and an assist. The dynamic duo of Cheatham and Howard were also vital, with the duo scoring 10 and 11, respectively, in the second half.

Marquette’s control of the game slipped away as Seton Hall continued to pound the ball down low and grab offense rebounds. The Pirates’ sheer size and rebounding ability kept them in the game and ultimately forced overtime. The Golden Eagles were out rebounded 25-18 in the second frame, and Seton Hall had 11 offensive rebounds, including five during in one possession. Thanks to forward Angel Delgado (14 points), and guards Khadeen Carrington (22), and Desi Rodriquez (30), the Pirates kept it close.

With 2:16 remaining and Marquette up seven, Katin Reinhardt had a wide open shot and missed. The Pirates came down the other end and Carrington drew the foul which started the Pirates rally. Reinhardt and Cheatham, the team’s two best free throw shooters, both missed the front end of a one-and-one, ultimately helped Seton Hall mount their comeback. With 2.7 seconds left, Carrington hit a jumper that forced overtime.

However, Reinhardt and Marquette did not panic. Down the stretch, Marquette went 7 for 8 from the charity stripe, including a 4 for 4 stretch from Reinhardt.

“I dream about this every night,” Reinhardt said. “Growing up and dreaming about knocking down free throws down the stretch to seal the deal, I am very confident in the way that I shoot free throws and I didn’t have any doubt that I was going to make them.”

Marquette squares off against DePaul next on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Bradley Center.

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