The Marquette v. Seton Hall game in the Big East Quarterfinals was a much more even match than what was witnessed during the first game of the evening, which was a assault and battery in the form of a basketball game when Villanova smacked St. John's 108-67.
The Golden Eagles came out of the gate applying stiff defensive pressure against the Pirates and their three-guard offense, which is led by Khadeem Carrington, Myles Powell and Desi Rodriguez.
The Pirates entered the Big East Tournament with a respectable 20-10 regular season record. But, their 10-8 record in conference is anything but respectable these days. Back in the "Good Ol' Days" of Big East parity, going 10-8 in conference MIGHT get you a bid to the Big Dance.
Marquette finished regular season conference play in sixth place, below a Seton Hall squad that finished fifth.
Very early in the game, Marquette's length and three-point shooting kept the Pirates at bay, but a team coached by Kevin Willard never gives up, and their late-season run in the Big East Tournament in 2016 is indicative of that. After being down early, thanks in large part to turning the ball over eight times in the first half, Seton Hall used ball movement, penetration and great all-around guard play to grab their first lead of the game with 1:29 left in the first half.
Yes, compared to the Pirates, Marquette has a great deal of length around the basket. But after consecutive lefty forays to the basket by Desi Rodriguez, as well as ferocious rebounding by Big East leading rebounder Angel Delgado, it was apparent that the Pirates were on their Jersey steez, and Marquette were the ones who were would eventually be flustered. After hitting 41 percent of their field goals in the first half, thanks in large part to hot shooting from Andrew Rowsey, the Golden Eagles were brought back down to Earth by the gritty Pirates in the second half.
Marquette would get the within single digits late after a series of three-pointers, but it was pretty much a done deal from there. Seton Hall fielded a balanced attack that saw significant contributions from six players, led by Carrington's 19 points. Freshman Myles Powell, representing Trenton, NJ, chipped in with 17. Angel Delgado finished one assist shy of a triple-double with 12 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists.
The Pirates move on to face the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats tomorrow in the tournament semifinals, while the Marquette team heads home and hopes that they'll be dancing come Selection Sunday.
Final Score: Seton Hall 82 Marquette 76