Photo courtesy of Seton Hall University Athletics.
By David Cordova
The New Year is finally here and conference play for all teams is now in session. Non-conference play has come to a close and the real part of the season has come. For Marquette and Seton Hall, both programs had a very impressive first half and came into this battle with the same identical record (10-3). The question at hand was which of these two Big East programs would emerge victorious on this New Year’s Day matchup? Seton Hall, coming off a loss to the undefeated Creighton, was on a mission to avoid a second straight loss on their home court.
Seton Hall 69, Marquette 66
The Pirates drew first blood in the first couple of minutes after two baskets by junior forward Angel Delgado and a three-pointer by junior forward Desi Rodriguez that brought them a 7-2 lead, with 17:51 to go in the first half.
The Golden Eagles would answer behind two three-pointers by graduate student Katin Reinhardt and baskets in the paint by senior Luke Fischer, in which they led, 14-12, with 13:06 to go in the half. Moments later, Reinhardt would continue dominate from three-point land as the Golden Eagles would lead, 20-12, with 11:28 to go.
As the game went on, both teams would continue to shoot around 50% from the field, making the game more of a shooting competition. Seton Hall then stepped up and cut the deficit to one, 26-25, with behind the scoring of senior guard Madison Jones, with 6:08 left.
The Pirates then went on a 6-0 run and regained the lead at 33-32, with 1:27 left in the first half after a layup by sophomore Michael Nzei, which was thew way they would go into halftime.
At the start of the second half, the Pirates went on a tear, with five points by Rodriguez and a jumper by junior guard Khadeen Carrington, to give them a six-point lead, 42-36, with 17:02 left.
As the game went on, Seton Hall continued to thrive due to their amazing post play on the low block. But Marquette would continue to stay close, cutting their deficit to 54-52, with 8:11 to go, after two consecutive three-pointers by freshman guard Markus Howard.
Both teams would grind it out down the stretch, but the Golden Eagles refused to die easily, as they took a two-point lead, 60-58, with 5:12 left. But Carrington hit two free throws to tie the score at 60-60 with 4:14 to go.
Marquette then went on a run of their own with a dunk by Johnson and a layup by Howard, which brought the Golden Eagles up four, 64-60, with 2:39 left. But the Pirates would stay resilient and cut the lead to one, 64-63 with 1:07 left in the game. Reinhardt would then make a layup with 38 seconds remaining to bring the Golden Eagles ahead by three, 66-63.
The Pirates would get two layups from Carrington in the span of nine seconds, to bring Seton Hall back on top, 67-66, with 21.3 seconds to go. And then he made two out of three free throws to bring them up, 69-66. With 9.5 seconds left, Marquette would try to get one more opportunity to tie it, but they turned it over, which led to the Pirates winning their eleventh game of the season, as well as their first conference game of the year.
Delgado led the Pirates with 18 points and 12 rebounds and Carrington added 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win. For Marquette, Reinhardt led with 17 points and Howard added 14 points for the Golden Eagles in the loss.