Seton Hall at No. 21 Marquette
When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 12, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisc., 2 p.m. EST.
Coming off a record-setting performance, Markus Howard and 21st-ranked Marquette look to further their momentum and stay perfect at home Saturday in a Big East clash versus Seton Hall.
Pirates living on edge after splitting one-point games
Seton Hall (12-4, 3-1 Big East) bounced back from a surprising loss at DePaul by holding off Butler 76-75 on Wednesday night for its seventh win in eight games.
As he has done often this season, Myles Powell shouldered the scoring load and went 13 of 15 from the foul line en route to 31 points. It was his third 30-point game of the season, and the junior has answered coach Kevin Willard’s call to be the go-to player for the Pirates by averaging 22.8 points — trailing only Howard in the Big East while ranking 16th nationally.
— Seton Hall Basketball (@SetonHallMBB) January 10, 2019
Powell, though, was more excited teammate Sandro Mamukelashvili finished a perfect press-breaker in which all five players touched the ball for a game-sealing basket in the final seconds.
“We’ve been picking him up the last two days in practice,” Powell told the Asbury Park Press about Mamukelashvili, who finished with seven points and eight rebounds. “The story about us is we never talk down on each other. We’re brothers, and we’re in this together. We told him, ‘It’s OK, that play is over.'”
The 6-foot-10 sophomore forward is emerging as a secondary scorer to Powell, contributing 9.6 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds. Seton Hall needs that kind of inside presence because while Powell is hitting 36.4 percent of his 3-pointers, the Pirates are hitting just 31.8 overall after making only 5 of 18 against Butler.
The Pirates, though, will only get their third win 12 tries in Milwaukee since they became conference rivals if they can at least slow down Howard. That task falls to 6-4 Quincy McKnight, who is Willard’s designated lockdown defender on the opponent’s top perimeter scorer.
“I don’t think you’re ever excited to really go up against Markus Howard. It’s like, are you excited to go get a colonoscopy?” Willard quipped before adding, “I have confidence in Q that he’s going to go out there and work, he’s going to work him, he’s going to make Markus work.
“I have total confidence in Q in that way, but I think it’s a totally different look than any player he’s seen so far, just because of the range Markus can shoot with. I think that’s the biggest thing watching them on film. Some of his shots are like, from the parking lot.”
Seton Hall is playing its first game against a ranked opponent since upending then-No. 9 Kentucky 84-83 in New York on Dec. 8. The Pirates, though, are 2-7 on the road against AP Top 25 teams in conference play since the reconfigured Big East began play in 2014.
Marquette looks to stay perfect at Fiserv after wild road win
The 21st-ranked Golden Eagles (13-3, 2-1) pulled off a stunning comeback in Creighton on Wednesday night, getting a 3-point game-tying buzzer-beater from Sam Hauser at the end of regulation after a Bluejays turnover and then riding Howard‘s school and Big East-record 53-point performance in a 106-104 overtime win.
— MarquetteMBB (@MarquetteMBB) January 11, 2019
Howard went 10 for 14 from 3-point range overall and scored Marquette’s first 11 points in overtime as he bettered his career high of 52 set last season at Providence. It was his third game of 45 or more this season, with the other two efforts coming at home against then-ranked Kansas State and Buffalo.
The junior is fourth in the country in scoring at 25.8 points per game and tied for second with 67 3-pointers while connecting at a 44.7 percent clip from deep.
Hauser is averaging 13.4 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 39 percent from 3-point range. His younger brother, freshman Joey, has quickly settled in to contribute 10.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while hitting 22 of 44 from deep.
Marquette has run the table in its first season at the new Fiserv Forum, where the Milwaukee Bucks also play. The Golden Eagles are 11-0 at home, averaging 81.0 points and outscoring opponents by 20.6 per contest while making 39 percent of their 3-point shots.
- 5-0 ATS in its last five home games.
- 6-1 ATS in its last seven games.
- 7-1 ATS in its last eight games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The over is 23-9 in its last 32 home games as a favorite between 0.5-6.5 points.
- The over is 6-1-1 in its last eight games following a straight up win.
- The over is 6-1 in its last seven games after scoring 90 or more points in the previous game.
Seton Hall is:
- 2-5 ATS in its last seven games.
- 0-4 ATS in its last four games after its opponent allows 100 or more points in the previous game.
- The over is 11-2 in its last 13 road games.
- The over is 4-1 in its last five road games vs. Marquette.
- The over is 9-2 in its last 11 road games vs. teams with an above-.600 home winning percentage.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Tuesday’s win is the kind of springboard good teams can use to create elite seasons. The good thing about the victory is Marquette gets to follow it up at home, where it has been seemingly invincible this season as Howard lights up opponent after opponent.
It is very possible Howard and Powell cancel each other out in this contest by reaching 30 points, which still gives the Golden Eagles the advantage because they have better secondary scorers in the Hauser brothers and frontcourt depth who can neutralize Mamukelashvili.
It may take the opening part of the first half to get back into sync after such a wild win, but Marquette has been too tough at home to slow down. This line has swung 1.5 points in Seton Hall’s favor in the overnight to Marquette -4.5, so if you’re backing the home team, this may be the time to pull the trigger if you have not already.
Prediction: Pick: Marquette -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
While these teams have played to 148 points and higher in the last four meetings, the difference this season is Marquette’s defense — Wednesday night’s shootout notwithstanding. The Golden Eagles have limited opponents to 60.4 points per game at Fiserv while holding teams to 25.8 percent shooting from 3-point range and 35.3 percent overall.
The Howard-Powell scoring contest will be fun to watch, but there may not be enough offense on the rest of the court to hit that high number.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 151 points
Half-Time Side Pick
Seton Hall has been close but not quite close enough in the first half of its four road games, with a narrow range of four to six-point deficits. Marquette has led after 20 minutes in nine of its 11 home games, including three of the four against high-profile opponents.
The Golden Eagles have also led at intermission at halftime in five of the last six meetings in Milwaukee, and the expectation is they will make it six of seven.
Prediction: Pick: Marquette -2.5
Half-Time Total Bet
This will likely come down to the wire, but the belief that Marquette’s frontcourt can limit the scoring chances around Powell give confidence the under will deliver here.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 71 points