Marquette 73, Seton Hall 72: Greg Elliott's free throw helps give Golden Eagles fourth straight victory

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  • Darryl Morsell
    College basketball player (2017–202_) Maryland
  • Bryce Aiken
    American basketball player

The Marquette men's basketball team has figured out how to win.

The Golden Eagles have been red-hot on offense and that carried over into the first half against Seton Hall on Saturday. But when the game descended into a rock fight in the second half, MU had to find a way to hold off the scrappy Pirates.

The Golden Eagles got big shots from several players and Greg Elliott hit a free throw with 1.8 seconds left for a 73-72 victory at Fiserv Forum.

MU (12-6, 4-3 Big East) has won four straight games. Before that, the Golden Eagles had seen several second-half comebacks fizzle out as they lost five of six.

Box score: Marquette 73, Seton Hall 72

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"If you just keep going and you stay at it and stay clear-minded, you give yourself a chance," MU head coach Shaka Smart said. "Those guys (that hit big shots) are all kind of growing from the standpoint of their confidence to put the ball in the basket and to make plays."

The Golden Eagles scorched the nets in the first half against the Pirates (11-5, 2-4), who are ranked 18th in the Ferris Mowers coaches poll and No. 20 by The Associated Press.

Marquette guard Greg Elliott is fouled by Seton Hall guard Bryce Aiken with 1.7 seconds in the game. Elliott made one of two free throws to put the Golden Eagles ahead, 73-72.
Marquette guard Greg Elliott is fouled by Seton Hall guard Bryce Aiken with 1.7 seconds in the game. Elliott made one of two free throws to put the Golden Eagles ahead, 73-72.

MU graduate transfer Darryl Morsell made all of his five shots in the opening 20 minutes and the Golden Eagles sank 9 of 14 three-pointers.

Morsell finished with 26 points, matching his college high set earlier this season against New Hampshire. His 4 three-pointers were the most he's ever hit in five seasons.

"I just wan to win, man, at the end of the day," Morsell said. "When the first one goes down for me it kind of helps my confidence. The first one went down off the backboard. I'm like it might be one of them days. So I just stayed confident and played aggressive throughout the game."

But Bryce Aiken was also hot for Seton Hall. He scored 17 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the first half and keyed an 8-0 run that brought the Pirates within 44-41 at the break.

There seemed to be a lid on the basket for MU in the second half.

The Golden Eagles started the final 20 minutes 1 for 15, with their only field goal coming when Seton Hall was called for goaltending on a shot from center Kur Kuath.

Seton Hall took a 59-54 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining.

Marquette guard Darryl Morsell forces his way past Seton Hall guard Bryce Aiken during the first half Saturday at Fiserv Forum. Morsell scored 26 points, tying a college high he set earlier this season.
Marquette guard Darryl Morsell forces his way past Seton Hall guard Bryce Aiken during the first half Saturday at Fiserv Forum. Morsell scored 26 points, tying a college high he set earlier this season.

But MU rallied to tie it at 59-59 on a three-pointer from Morsell. He also scored four straight points for a 67-65 lead at the 3:14 mark.

When the Golden Eagles have been in need of a big bucket this season, they often turn to the graduate transfer from Maryland.

"I'm just playing basketball," Morsell said. "I got a group of teammates that's constantly giving me confidence. And Coach Smart wants us to play with confidence. So I'm just out there trying to play with confidence.

"I've been around and done seen a lot of things. So I just try to make plays when I see an opportunity. With everybody around me having confidence in me, that just makes me much better. So today I got going and played confident throughout the game."

Other MU players also contributed clutch plays.

Elliott knocked in a three-pointer to tie the game at 70-70. Justin Lewis gave MU the lead on the next possession with a floater in the lane with 41 seconds left.

The final 30 seconds were chaotic.

First, Aiken drew a foul on a call that drew the ire of the MU fans. He sank both free throws to tie the game.

MU called a timeout to set up the final play. Elliott ended up with the ball in his hands with the clock winding down and drew contact from Aiken.

He made one free throw and missed the second on purpose.

Seton Hall had two chances on an inbound play after an official error and threw the ball away on the second to end the game.

"There was a lot of checking of the monitor and different things that happened," Smart said. "Then the guy traveled along the baseline and then they pulled that back because I guess one of the officials told him he could run the baseline.

"We don't control that. We just have to stay focused on the things we can control. At the end of the day, the guys did a good job executing what we wanted to do. Darryl and some the guys were adamant that they wanted to miss the second free throw just to take a little bit of time off and be able to keep them from running the baseline. And it worked out for us."

Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard yells at referee Paul Szelc after Marquette guard Greg Elliott was fouled by guard Bryce Aiken with 1.7 seconds left.
Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard yells at referee Paul Szelc after Marquette guard Greg Elliott was fouled by guard Bryce Aiken with 1.7 seconds left.

The Golden Eagles couldn't complete comebacks against Xavier and Connecticut and also lost a heartbreaker in double overtime against Creighton.

But losing those seems to have formed a resilient spirit in MU.

"Just the pain after losing those ones," Morsell said. "You fight so hard to be in games and you lose by one, you lose by a possession.

"And you just remember, like, dang, I wish I would have gotten that rebound. Dang, I wish I could have got that stop. I think we all kind of felt that pain as a team. And we don't really want to feel that no more. So we just trying to stick together and make winning plays at the end of the game and just do what we got to do to win games."

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Marquette beats Seton Hall 73-72 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee

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