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The Seton Hall Pirates fell hard to the 20th ranked Marquette Golden Eagles 74-53 on Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center. This snaps the Seton Hall (12-9/BIG EAST 5-5) win streak at four. Kadary Richmond was the only Pirate to hit double figures with 10 points, while Kam Jones paced Marquette (16-5/BIG EAST 8-2) with 22 points.

The Pirates jumped out to an early 8-3 lead when Richmond found Femi Odukale in the paint who slammed it home about three minutes into the game. Marquette answered with a 13-3 run over the next five minutes as the Pirates struggled with ball control for much of the first half with 13 turnovers. The Hall had a promising run late in the first half when Richmond hit a layup while being fouled and made the subsequent free throw, that play was followed by a Tae Davis layup to tie the game at 24 with 5:54 left in the first half. Seton Hall went on a bit of a run when Kam Jones responded with a 3 pointer, then Dre Davis countered with a 3 of his own that tied the game at 27 with 5:07 left. Two free throws by Richmond was the only scoring The Hall could manage for the remainder of the first half as they stumbled into halftime down 37-29.

The halftime adjustments appeared to help the Pirates briefly at the start of the second half when Tyrese Samuel hit a long two point shot, and then KC Ndefo stole the ball from Olivier-Maxense Prosper and rolled back down the floor for a layup to close the gap to 40-33. The Pirates never got closer than those 7 points the rest of the game as the Golden Eagles kept on the pressure and never let them get into any cohesive rhythm as they continued to turn the ball over at an alarming rate. Oso Ighodaro and Kam Jones were a 1-2 punch for Marquette combining for 15 of the Golden Eagles 20 points in the 20-7 run. It was a Ndefo steal and layup that pretty much buried the Pirates for the rest of the game.

The postgame press conference provided a bigger spark than the Pirates offense did for most of the game. Coach Shaheen Holloway was very direct in voicing his displeasure with the team’s preparation heading into the game:
“I give Marquette a lot of credit. We got our ass kicked, period. They say that when you win it’s on the players and when you lose it’s on the coach, so this was on me. I allowed us to practice like (garbage) the last two days and that’s how we played. That’s what happens when you don’t prepare well, you don’t play well. Period. It’s not rocket science.”

Holloway went on praising Marquette’s style of play:
“We have to defend, and we didn’t defend today. Marquette is a very good team, very well coached, their style of offense messes a lot of people up because they move a lot. They move a lot, and when you’re not disciplined they exploit you.”

One reporter asked completely out of nowhere about the status of Alexis Yetna, who has missed the entire season with a knee injury, then an exasperated Coach Holloway boiled over and the profanities started flying before he stormed out of the room:
“He (is not) playing, alright? …I’m tired of answering questions about this (darn) kid. He (is not) playing….Is that what you wanted to hear?”

Tyrese Samuel was more optimistic about how far the team has come since the beginning of the season and sees more potential ahead: “I think we’ve grown a lot, and we still have a lot more growing to do, but there’s still a lot of basketball to be played. I just think that our team is just going to keep on growing.”

Marquette coach Shaka Smart observed how much different his team is compared to when he played, but is happy with the results:
“It’s interesting, I’m kind of old school, so if I’m playing, I want silence, no joking around. Our guys are in the locker room clowning around…that’s Kam Jones. I could tell him to be like me, but I don’t shoot as well as him so I would rather he be like him.”

Smart is also appreciating the difference in passion in the Big East against big Power 5 football schools like Texas where he coached previously:
“When you’re at a school that does not have football, and it has big time basketball like Seton Hall, Providence, Villanova, Marquette, Xavier, it just means more. That doesn’t mean that if you line up against those schools that do have football that you’re going to beat them, it just means that there’s something special about the way that people feel. I just met a woman upstairs who graduated in 1967 from Marquette, and she lives in this area and she’s a Jersey Girl and she had all this Marquette paraphernalia and it’s like, it matters! You just feel that more at these types of schools. I’m grateful, I played Division 3 basketball so I’m grateful to be in this conference and to be at Marquette.”

News and Notes:
Seton Hall had 26 turnovers in this game, and Marquette had 34 points off turnovers.
This was the most turnovers by the Pirates since they had 26 against LSU on November 29, 2012.
The Pirates have a week off before resuming action on the road at Butler next Saturday January 28 at 4pm on FS1.
Marquette also has a week off coming up and will play at DePaul on January 28 at 1pm.

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