Preview: Marquette at Seton Hall
Marquette’s quest for its first outright Big East regular-season title has been slowed by back-to-back six-point losses. The 15th-ranked Golden Eagles aim to get back on track Wednesday when they travel to the Prudential Center to face Seton Hall, which has dropped three in a row to put its NCAA Tournament hopes in jeopardy.
Big East leading scorer Markus Howard scored 21 straight points for Marquette in the first half and finished with 33 on Sunday, but a high volume of turnovers plagued the Golden Eagles for the second consecutive contest in a 66-60 setback to Creighton. “If somebody makes running offense harder on you, you have to work harder, you have to be stronger, you have to be more fundamentally sound,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. While the Golden Eagles trail first-place Villanova by a half-game, the Pirates will play a pivotal role in which team will win the Big East title as they wrap up their season with home games against both clubs. “We’ve still got two Top 25 teams coming back to our house. We’re going to keep it together and keep fighting like we did (Saturday),” Myles Powell told NJ.com, referring to his 35-point performance in a 77-71 double-overtime loss to Georgetown.
TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1
ABOUT MARQUETTE (23-6, 12-4 Big East): Howard, who was named one of the five finalists for the 2019 Bob Cousy Award on Tuesday, erupted for 26 points and Theo John added 10 to go along with a career high-tying 11 rebounds in the Golden Eagles’ 70-66 win over Seton Hall on Jan. 12. Sam Hauser had 13 points in that contest, but answered two strong shooting performances with a dismal 1-for-7 effort from the field — including 1-for-6 from 3-point range — to finish with just three in the loss to the Bluejays. Hauser wasn’t alone with his troubles against Creighton, as the rest of the club combined to shoot 10-for-25 outside of Howard’s 11-for-21 effort from the floor.
ABOUT SETON HALL (16-12, 7-9): Powell, who averages a team-best 22.3 points per game, had 21 in the first meeting with Marquette while fellow guard Quincy McKnight and forward Sandro Mamukelashvili each had 13. The 6-foot-10 Mamukelashvili, who averages 9.0 points, has upped the ante with four double-digit performances in his last five games — including 14 to go along with 11 rebounds versus the Hoyas. McKnight has struggled mightily from the floor in his last three outings, shooting 6-for-26 in that stretch while finishing with just three points in the last two.
1. Marquette F Sacar Anim answered an 8-for-12 shooting performance in a 76-58 win at Providence on Feb. 23 by going 4-for-12 from the field in his last two games.
2. Seton Hall G Myles Cale is just 3-for-13 from the field and 1-for-6 from 3-point range in his last two contests.
3. The Golden Eagles have won 19 of the 26 all-time meetings with the Pirates.