Seton Hall Pirates vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Pick & Prediction JANUARY 6th 2024

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While No. 7 Marquette owns a pair of Big East wins despite struggling to make shots at times, Seton Hall has earned two victories over ranked opponents to make the conference even more competitive.

Marquette hopes its offense can do enough to avoid becoming the third ranked Big East opponent to fall to Seton Hall on Saturday afternoon in Newark, N.J.

Marquette (11-3, 2-1) lost its conference opener when it shot 32.1 percent from the field and missed 16 of 20 3-point tries in a 72-57 loss at Providence on Dec. 19.

The Golden Eagles bounced back by shooting 44.6 percent from the floor in a 30-point victory over Georgetown three days later, then survived shooting 36.8 percent and missing 22 of 31 3-point tries in last week’s 72-67 home win over Creighton.

The Golden Eagles trailed by nine in the opening minutes and struggled offensively in the first half, missing 17 of 20 3s and shooting 27.8 percent in that first 20 minutes. But they trailed by two at halftime thanks to their defensive effort.

Marquette’s defense forced 18 turnovers, marking the ninth time it caused at least 15 turnovers this season. The Golden Eagles also registered 10 steals, marking the sixth game they reached double-digit steals.

Tyler Kolek led the Golden Eagles with 15 points, eight assists and three steals. Sean Jones added 15 points in 12 minutes off the bench while Kam Jones scored 12 in a game in which Stevie Mitchell returned from a hamstring injury and Oso Ighodaro compensated for shooting 2-of-11 by getting 16 rebounds.

Sean Jones was particularly effective from 3-point range by making 3 of 5 attempts after missing 24 of his first 28 3-point tries of the year.

“When you’re not making shots, you have to have desperation on the defensive end and on the offensive glass, and that’s exactly why we were able to go into halftime only down two as opposed to being down double figures,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “And that’s why we won the game.”

Seton Hall (9-5, 2-1) is off to a good start in league play thanks to impressive wins over then-No. 5 UConn on Dec. 20 and at No. 23 Providence on Wednesday.

In their 75-60 win over UConn, the Pirates allowed 37.9 percent shooting from the field, including 4-of-21 from 3-point range. In Wednesday’s 61-57 win in Providence, Seton Hall allowed 37 percent from the field and 4 of 17 from behind the arc to earn its second Quad 1 win and first true road victory.

“This is a big win, but we can’t celebrate,” Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway said postgame. “We got a great Marquette team on Saturday.”

It was the fifth time the Pirates held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting, and this time the defense compensated for an offense that shot 36.2 percent.

Seton Hall shot below 40 percent for the second straight game and fifth time overall, but the Pirates got productive nights from Dre Davis and Kadary Richmond. Davis scored 17 points to reach double figures for the fourth straight game while Richmond added 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Holloway said in an interview with Fox that Richmond was dealing with an eye injury from a 20-point loss at Xavier on Dec. 23

“That’s just who we are. We’re a gritty team, and we lay our hats on it,” Davis said. “This was a big win, and we had to dig deep and find a way to get it.”

–Field Level Media

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