Second-half woes doom Marquette at Seton Hall

Marquette saw an 11-point first-half lead disappear before halftime, then made just 5-of-26 shots (19 percent) in the second half, as it fell to Seton Hall, 69-55, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Seton Hall (12-4, 4-0 BIG EAST) becomes the second-straight team to remain unbeaten in conference play with a win over Marquette, despite not having a particularly good-shooting second half, either. Seton Hall hit just 1-of-10 shots beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes and 36 percent overall. However, they also only turned the ball over six times in the game, outrebounded Marquette, 41-34, and outscored Marquette both in the paint, 32-10, and in points off turnovers, 21-7, as Marquette had very little rhythm after the first 10 minutes. The Pirates were led by BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year Myles Powell, who scored 23 points on 8-of-22 shooting.

Turnovers played a big part in Marquette (11-5, 1-3) losing its first-half lead, which was last at its highest when a Kobe McEwen layup made it 26-15 with 8:42 left in the opening period. MU committed five turnovers in the final eight minutes of the first half, allowing the Pirates to finish the half on a 23-11 run. It only took a little over six minutes for the Pirates to erase Marquette’s lead, as they took their first advantage after the early minutes, 34-32, at the end of a 7-0 run with 2:40 remaining before halftime. After leading, 40-37, at the half, Seton Hall never trailed again.

Markus Howard led all scorers with 27 points, hitting 8-of-22 shots, but only two other Marquette players, McEwen (eight points on 3-of-6 shooting) and Sacar Anim (9, 2-for-9) hit more than a single basket. It’s the second time in three games Marquette has failed to hit 20 percent of its second-half shots, though the first time came in its lone conference victory thus far against Villanova.

Marquette returns home to face Xavier at Fiserv Forum Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

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