Game preview: No.3 Seton Hall battles No.6 Marquette in the quarterfinal of the Big East tournamentDate: March 12, 2020
By: Dalton Allison
When the clock expired on Saturday in Omaha, Neb., to the tune of a 77-60 Creighton victory over Seton Hall, the Pirates all but sealed themselves into a difficult road to victory for the Big East Tournament. That road begins on Thursday at 9:30 p.m., when they’ll take on the Marquette Golden Eagles.
It was only weeks ago when the Pirates waltzed into the Fiserv forum and deflated a crowd that was celebrating Markus Howard’s senior day. The Pirates defeated the Golden Eagles 88-79. That day, it was a duel between Howard and Seton Hall’s Myles Powell.
Howard went for 37 points that game, while Powell contributed 28. Powell was closely followed by Sandro Mamukelashvili, who had his best collegiate game with 26 points and nine rebounds. This is the effort from Mamukelashvili that the Pirates will need if they want to defeat the Golden Eagles on Thursday night.
This type of performance was lacking from Mamukelashvili in the 77-60 loss to Creighton on Saturday. Although he did grab 12 boards, Mamu put up a 3-10 day from the field. He has developed himself into the second option on the team, with a strong conference season besides the final game against Creighton. He will be needed again against the Golden Eagles, who feature a strong supporting cast outside of Howard.
Part of that supporting cast is Theo John, who consistently brings a physical presence into the paint against opponents. His effectiveness has been limited in the two games against the Pirates due to the fearsome tandem of Mamu and Romaro Gill down low. This defense is exactly what Seton Hall will have to utilize to see similar results as their last two meetings with the Golden Eagles.
Powell and Gill have both been honored for their stellar seasons prior to the tip of the Big East Tournament. For Powell, he has been awarded with a spot on the All-Big East First Team, as well as a spot on the Sporting News All-America First Team. For Gill, he was awarded with not only the Big East Most Improved Player of the Year, but also the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
The Pirates will need both of the players to play up to the awards they were given if they want to make it past a hungry Golden Eagles team on Thursday night.
Coverage will begin on WSOU at 9 p.m. with Wilnir Louis, Michael Daly, and Heaven Hill before Chris Russo and Jose Feliciano have coverage of the game that tips at 9:30.
Dalton Allison is the Sports Director at 89.5 FM WSOU, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.