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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


February 17, 2009

Marquette broke their brief two-game slide Saturday by returning home and bouncing St. John's, 73-59, behind a strong defensive effort, much better than the one that allowed 102 points in their previous game. After beginning conference play 9-0, Marquette lost on the road to South Florida and Villanova before the win of the Redstorm this weekend.

Seton Hall started conference play 0-6 before a five-game win streak breathed life back into the Pirates. That streak was ended on Saturday in a 62-54 loss on their home floor to UConn. Despite a valiant effort by junior John Garcia, the Pirates fell as Hasheem Thabeet dominated with 25 points, 20 rebounds and 9 blocked shots.

Marquette is led by the school's all-time leading scorer Jerel McNeal and his senior classmate backcourt partners Dominic James and Wesley Mathews. They will be tested by the SHU trip of Eugene Harvey, Paul Gause and Jeremy Hazell. Each team will use a small forward as their 'big' forward with Lazar Hayward of the Golden Eagles matched up with SHU's Robert Mitchell. John Garcia has a favorable match-up in the paint in this one, if the pace of the game is played more in his favor, like it was on Saturday.

Seton Hall went to a more deliberate pace against UConn this weekend, something out of the norm for the Pirates. While they never really threatened in the game, they kept it close and fought to the end. Marquette will look to push the tempo and if SHU gets pulled in, it will be very interesting, because this is one game where SHU would have an advantage in size AND depth in the paint.

However, the home team with the veteran backcourt is usually more effective in dictating the pace. If that is the case, Marquette should be very comfortable in this game and score a lot of points. The track meet could make Garcia a non-factor and lead to a Golden Eagles win.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Marquette 91
Seton Hall 77



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