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MILWAUKEE (AP) — On a day when neither Marquette nor Seton Hall was close to full strength, the Golden Eagles' superior depth made the difference.
Oso Ighodaro scored 21 points, David Joplin added 20 and No. 14 Marquette beat Seton Hall 75-57 on Saturday for its fourth consecutive win. Seton Hall has lost three straight and has been missing top scorer Kadary Richmond for two of those games due to an unspecified injury.
Marquette (15-5, 6-3 Big East) got just seven combined points from leading scorers Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones, but the Golden Eagles outscored Seton Hall 14-2 in bench production. Ben Gold led Marquette's reserves with nine points, six rebounds and two blocks.
“It says a lot about the character of our guys,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “I think Ben Gold deserves a ton of credit the last couple of games, just taking on an expanded role that I've felt for a while that he was ready for, and he hasn't blinked."
New Milwaukee Bucks coach Doc Rivers, who played for Marquette from 1980-83, received a standing ovation during a first-half timeout as he briefly spoke to a crowd that included Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love.
Marquette didn't lead for the first 18 1/2 minutes of the game but pulled away by outscoring Seton Hall 45-28 in the second half.
“Nobody's feeling sorry for us,” said Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway, who had no update on Richmond's status after the game. “It doesn't matter who's playing, who's not playing. We've got to get back to the drawing board.”
Marquette won despite encountering some adversity the day before the game.
Smart said Jones sprained an ankle after landing on someone's foot while attempting a 3-point shot in practice Friday. Jones tried to play Saturday but lasted just five minutes and scored three points.
“We'll work around the clock to get that ankle back to where it needs to be, and hopefully he can get back out there for us real soon,” Smart said.
Kolek, the reigning Big East player of the year, had just four points and was held scoreless until 1:12 was left in the game. He made up for it by collecting 11 assists.
“I didn’t even realize he didn't score until the end of the game until you just said it because of how much he was impacting the game and how we just feel more confident when he’s on the court and facilitating everything," said Stevie Mitchell, who had 13 points, six rebounds and five steals. “We lean on him. It’s just a testament to him how he didn’t let it bother him and just kept being who he was and leading us.”
Jaden Bediako led Seton Hall (13-8, 6-4) with 18 points, one off his career high. Dre Davis added 13 points.
Seton Hall: The Pirates beat then-No. 7 Marquette 78-75 on Jan. 6 as part of a five-game winning streak that put them atop the Big East standings. Seton Hall has followed up that winning streak with a three-game skid that included home losses to Creighton and Providence. Seton Hall hasn’t been the same without Richmond.
Marquette: Earlier this season, it seemed the Golden Eagles were relying too heavily on the trio of Kolek, Jones and Ighodaro. That they won easily Saturday without getting much scoring from Kolek or Jones shows how far they've come in the last couple of weeks.
Marquette was ranked as high as No. 3 earlier this season but fell all the way to 17th after a sluggish start to Big East play. This winning streak could get the Golden Eagles closer to the top 10.
Seton Hall: At DePaul on Tuesday.
Marquette: At Villanova on Tuesday.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball