Marquette Wire

Opportunistic Golden Eagles down Seton Hall for season sweep

Markus+Howard+led+the+team+in+scoring+with+30+points.+It%27s+his+sixth+30-point+game+of+the+season.+%28Photo+by+Maggie+Bean+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29
Markus Howard led the team in scoring with 30 points. It's his sixth 30-point game of the season. (Photo by Maggie Bean courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Markus Howard led the team in scoring with 30 points. It's his sixth 30-point game of the season. (Photo by Maggie Bean courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Markus Howard led the team in scoring with 30 points. It's his sixth 30-point game of the season. (Photo by Maggie Bean courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

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Marquette entered play Wednesday boiling with frustration after four consecutive losses, three of which came at home.

“There’s not been one game where we’ve shot more free throws than the other team,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said before leaving the media room last Saturday. “Not saying that it’s the officials. I’m saying it’s my coaching.”

That trend continued Wednesday against Seton Hall, but the Pirates missed opportunities from the charity stripe and that helped Marquette preserve a 88-85 road victory to put the Golden Eagles back in the NCAA Tournament picture.

Twenty-two Marquette fouls resulted in 32 Seton Hall free throw attempts, including 11 freebies in the last nine minutes. But the Pirates, plagued by 67 percent shooting from the charity stripe entering play, could not change course against the Golden Eagles.

Twelve missed free throws, including seven in the second half, prevented Seton Hall from taking the lead at all in the second half despite coming within one possession on five separate occasions.

An Andrew Rowsey foul on a 3-point attempt from Seton Hall senior Desi Rodriguez allowed the Pirates to cut the game to 84-82 with less than 10 seconds left, but four Marquette free throws – two from senior Matt Heldt and two from sophomore Markus Howard – removed any doubt about the outcome. Rodriguez finished with a Seton Hall-high 21 points.

Meanwhile, Marquette once again relied on 3-point shooting to fuel the offense, hitting 12 of 19 perimeter shots. At one point in the second half, Marquette had as many 3-pointers as Seton Hall had free throws despite having far fewer attempts.

Three consecutive 3-pointers in the first half helped Marquette go on an 11-0 run and grab a 40-31 lead. Seton Hall counterattacked with their own 8-0 run that kept the Pirates within striking distance for most of the game. Marquette could not replicate its nine-point lead until 14:38 mark in the second half.

Howard led the Golden Eagles in scoring for the fourth time in the last five games. The BIG EAST’s leading scorer chipped in 32 points on 9-of-13 shooting. His 10 free throws were the most he has made in a single game.

Rowsey drastically improved his play against Seton Hall.. After not hitting a 3-pointer in his previous two games, Rowsey was 3-for-6 Wednesday night from beyond the arc.

The Golden Eagles’ scoring output was hardly balanced, however. The five starters totaled all of the team’s scoring and assists.

Freshman Theo John did not play in the victory Wednesday because of flu-like symptoms. He was coming off a career-high 14-point performance in Marquette’s 77-75 loss to Providence last Saturday.

Wojo is now 5-5 in his career against Seton Hall.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Sam Hauser’s 16-point, 10-rebound performance was Marquette’s first double-double of the year. It was also the first time any individual recorded 10 rebounds in a game since Matt Heldt had 10 rebounds against St. John’s last season.

UP NEXT

Marquette will complete the second half of its two-game road trip Saturday against St. John’s. After starting the conference slate 0-11, the Red Storm have knocked off No. 4 Duke and No. 1 Villanova in its last two games.

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