Marquette rolls late
NEWARK, N.J. Marquette head coach Buzz Williams sent his team a stern message after his team was only tied at the half with struggling Seton Hall.
“The only time you have a chance to win on the road is to overwhelm teams with your intensity, your fight and your spirit,” Williams said after the No. 17 Golden Eagles steamrolled past the Pirates, 67-46, with an impressive second half performance. “It’s incredibly hard to win on the road no matter who you’re playing.”
Vander Blue scored 19 points and Devante Gardner added 18, including 14 in the second half, as Marquette used a sizeable rebounding advantage to get the victory.
The win enabled the Golden Eagles (19-6, 10-3 Big East) to hold onto first place in the conference with their fourth win in the last five outings. The Pirates (13-14, 2-12) dropped below the .500 mark for the first time this season—their worst league mark in 29 years.
Marquette went on a 17-0 run over a 5:38 span of the second half, right after Seton Hall grabbed a 33-32 lead. The Golden Eagles used their size advantage to take control, with Gardner scoring eight during that span. All totaled, Marquette outscored Seton Hall, 25-1, over an eight-minute portion of the half and outscored the Pirates, 40-19, after halftime.
“When you’re on the road in late February, you need everyone to muster up the juice,” Williams said. “You need the players, the coaches, the trainers, the managers, everyone. We were really good defensively in the second half and we were much more consistent offensively in the second half.”
Blue is averaging nearly 16 points per game since scoring his career best 30 points in a win against South Florida Jan. 28.
“Since that game, Vander has been playing at a different clip,” Williams said. “Vander’s definitely playing at a very good clip and the last two games have been his best because of his consistency. The others have allowed Vander to feel the freedom to make plays.”
Marquette outrebounded Seton Hall by a 43-24 margin, led by Jamil Wilson.