Marquette drops BIG EAST home opener against Seton Hall

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Koby McEwen puts up a shot in Marquette’s 70-63 loss to Seton Hall Thursday night. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

The Marquette Golden Eagles fell to the Seton Hall Pirates by a score of 70-63 Thursday night in their BIG EAST home opener.

The Pirates were led by senior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili and junior guard Jared Rhoden. Mamukelashvili had a game-high of 17 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds. Rhoden added 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

“When you’re playing a guy that is such a focal point of what they do, you want to make him play in a crowd, and the times we did that he was really unselfish and found his teammates,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said.

SHU controlled the pace of play for majority of the game, holding a lead for over 37 minutes of play. Despite Seton Hall’s dominance, the Golden Eagles still made an attempt to rally back in the final 10 minutes.

After trailing by 11 points with just over nine minutes, Marquette started to surge back. The Golden Eagles outscored the Pirates 15-4 to tie the game at 61 with just under two minutes left to play. Sophomore guard D.J. Carton led the charge, scoring 10 points in the final six and a half minutes. The Ohio State transfer had a team-high 16 points to go with three rebounds and three assists.

MU was also able to improve their 3-point percentage in the second half, going 5-for-12 from distance after a 29% performance from behind the arc in the first half. Seton Hall was strong from deep all night long, shooting 43% from three.

Senior guard Shavar Reynolds Jr. answered Carton’s heroics with some of his own, hitting a go-ahead three with less than a minute of play and then proceeding to score the final four points of the game. Reynolds finished the night with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.

“Obviously we’d prefer not to be digging ourselves a hole like we did, but I thought our guys had a stick-to-itiveness, which is good, and we’ve shown that on a couple of occasions,” Wojciechowski said. “But you can’t rely on that to win games. You have to put a 40-minute game together, and I’m not sure we did tonight.”

Redshirt senior guard Koby McEwen had a quiet night for the Golden Eagles. The team’s leading scorer this season had seven points, three rebounds and two assists while shooting 3-for-10 from the field.

Marquette was once again strong on the glass, outrebounding Seton Hall 38-29. First-year forward Dawson Garcia had 12 rebounds and senior forward Jamal Cain had eight. Senior forward Theo John had just one rebound, but still provided protection in the paint with his four blocks.

The Golden Eagles have now dropped their last five meetings with the Pirates dating back to 2019. They now hold an all-time record of 19-12 against Seton Hall.

Marquette will now travel to Cincinnati for a matchup with Xavier on Sunday at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time. The game will be telecasted on FS1.

This story was written by Nick Galle. He can be reached at nicholas.galle@marquette.edu or on Twitter @thenickgalle