Men’s basketball outlasts Seton Hall despite lack of offense

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Men’s basketball outlasts Seton Hall despite lack of offense

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Jack Phillips

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For the second time this week, Marquette won in the final minutes of action, defeating Seton Hall 70-66 Saturday afternoon. This time, it didn’t require a historic performance from junior guard Markus Howard.

“It may not have been as artistic as our last game, but it was beautiful all the same,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “It was an old-fashioned fistfight.”

Three days after winning an overtime thriller over Creighton, Marquette had another nail-biting finish, holding a one-point lead with a minute left.

Marquette had a 10-point lead at halftime and a 13-point lead earlier in the first half, but a flurry of turnovers curbed Marquette’s usually potent offense in the second half and allowed for a Seton Hall comeback.

Seton Hall took a 50-49 lead in the second half after not having the lead for more than 20 minutes. Neither team had a two-possession lead in the last 12 minutes of the game.

“People just stepped up to make winning plays at the end,” junior forward Sam Hauser said.

Sam’s brother had one of those winning plays with 45 seconds left. Freshman forward Joey Hauser drove to the hoop to give Marquette a 66-63 lead, its largest lead after Seton Hall’s comeback earlier in the half. Wojciechowski described it as a “huge momentum play.”

It came on a dish from redshirt junior Sacar Anim. As Anim drove, he kicked it back to Joey Hauser for his second assist.

Quincy McKnight cut Marquette’s lead to one point on a layup, and Joey Hauser only hit one of two free throws, which gave the Pirates a chance to tie or take the lead with the shot clock off.

The Pirates turned to McKnight again to take the lead, but his contested 3-pointer was off the mark. Theo John hit one of two free throws to give Marquette a three-point lead.

“(John’s free throw) was absolutely huge for us,” Wojciechowski said.

Then Marquette fouled Seton Hall to avoid a possible three from Seton Hall star Myles Powell. It was too little, too late after that for the Pirates.

“I didn’t want (Myles) Powell to tie the game,” Wojciechowski said. “When Myles Powell is on the other team, let’s rely on our free-throw block-outs.”

Junior Sam Hauser grabbed the rebound after the Seton Hall free throws and hit the game-clinching free throws.

With redshirt junior Ed Morrow out in the second half, sophomore Theo John stepped up to fill the void in the paint. He had eight points, six rebounds and two blocks in the second half and ended the afternoon with a double-double. His 11 rebounds marked a new career high.

“Theo doesn’t normally play 30 minutes per game,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s usually splitting minutes with Ed. … It’s not just the rebounding. A lot of (Seton Hall)’s actions to free (Myles) Powell up involve their five-man.”

Powell, who entered play third in the BIG EAST in scoring, had 21 points but only shot 3-for-9 from long range. Anim had the task of guarding Powell for most of the game.

“Powell is so good that you aren’t going to stop him,” Wojciechowski said. “You want to make everything on him as hard as possible. I thought for the exception of one three late … (Anim) did a really good job of making life hard on him.”

Marquette finished the game with 20 turnovers, which resulted in 27 Seton Hall points off those turnovers.

“We had some uncharacteristic turnovers that led to easy points for them,” Sam Hauser said. “We have to clean that up.”

Junior guard Markus Howard led the Golden Eagles with 26 points, but he had five turnovers in the second half alone. Marquette also did not hit a 3-pointer in the second half.

Redshirt junior Ed Morrow landed on his right foot and injured his ankle. Wojciechowski said Morrow’s ankle was very swollen but did not provide a timetable for his return.

The injury leaves Marquette with sophomore Theo John and senior Matt Heldt manning the center position.

Marquette will have a short break before visiting Georgetown Tuesday. The Hoyas are coming off a 96-90 win over Providence in double overtime.

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