While Markus Howard continued his hot-shooting ways for the first 11 minutes of No. 21 Marquette's Saturday matchup with Seton Hall, the Golden Eagles would need more than just Howard to capture a hard-fought, 70-66 victory at Fiserv Forum.
Howard scored 15 points in the first 10 minutes and six seconds of the contest, including a nearly five-minute stretch where he scored 13 of 15 MU points. That helped propel Marquette (14-3, 3-1 BIG EAST) to a first-half lead that grew as large as 13 and sat at 40-30 when the teams adjourned to the locker rooms.
In the second half, however, Howard went just 2-for-9 from the floor, allowing Seton Hall (12-4, 3-2 BIG EAST) to take back a lead it hadn't held in nearly 24 minutes when it went up, 50-49, with 9:21 remaining. The Pirates took advantage of an over four-minute scoreless stretch for Marquette to go on an 8-0 run, but never increased their lead to more than three at any subsequent point in the contest.
A Myles Powell three-pointer would tip the see-saw back towards Seton Hall, 63-62, with 3:05 remaining. However, Theo John asserted himself from that point forward for Marquette. His two made free throws after he recovered a blocked Howard shot gave MU a lead it wouldn't again relinquish, 64-63, with 2:12 left. His defensive rebound after a Powell missed three set up Joey Hauser for a layup that boosted the advantage to 66-63 with 48 seconds remaining. And with the score 67-65, John made one of two free-throws, putting MU back up three and in a place where it could foul Seton Hall and send it to the free-throw line for two double-bonus tosses before it could even attempt a three-pointer to tie. Quincy McKnight hit the first free throw just after such a foul, then intentionally missed the second. Sam Hauser snared the rebound, though, was fouled, and made two free throws to virtually end the contest.
Howard's 26 points still led all scorers, though he was just 7-for-20 on the day. John, who saw extended playing time when Ed Morrow, Jr. had to leave with an ankle injury, got 10 points and 11 rebounds. Sacar Anim added 15 points for Marquette, while Powell led the Pirates with 21.
Marquette is now unbeaten in 12 games at Fiserv Forum. They will next face Georgetown, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. CST, in Washington, D.C.
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