Sunday, January 3, 2016

Seton Hall 99, Marquette 68: Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free Analysis

Seton Hall players sign autographs for appreciative fans following victory over Marquette. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

South Orange, NJ -­ Returning to ‘historic’ Walsh with an unblemished 2­-0 Big East record, the 23rd-ranked Seton Hall Pirates entertained Marquette, who came in with an 0­-1 conference record, losing a tough one at DePaul. You never know what to expect in the Big East. One constant is this, defense wins games. Seton Hall’s ‘D’ helped the Pirates win in a big way today, 99­-68 over Marquette.

First quarter: Seton Hall wasted no time in getting off a 10­-0 spurt after four minutes. The Pirates are decidedly uptempo, especially off turnovers. No quirks or gimmicks, just solid man-to-man defense by the Hall. Marquette is apt to run and after finally getting on the scoreboard, settled down offensively.

End of first quarter: Seton Hall 22, Marquette 9

Second quarter: Both teams traded baskets early. Natisha Hiedeman, a 5-­8 freshman, apparently has the green light for Marquette. A 13.8 PPG scorer, Hiedeman has the range and is not afraid to let the three-ball fly. She had 10 of Marquette’s first 16 points. Tabatha Richardson­-Smith enjoyed a good quarter, as the Hall moved out to a 21-point lead with just over four minutes left. High post screens free up the Hall’s Shakena Richardson, who wreaked havoc in the lane. Marquette went to a zone as a defensive adjustment.

Halftime: Seton Hall 52, Marquette 24

Possessions: Marquette 41, Seton Hall 41

Offensive efficiency: Marquette 59, Seton Hall 127

Third quarter: Marquette ‘won’ the first four minutes, 9-­8. Carolyn Kieger’s club pressured (1-­2-­1­-1) after scores, but with little effect on the Hall. The Pirate lead grew to 43 with five minutes left. Transition and size are too much for Marquette. In the 12 games, Marquette has hit the 90-point mark five times. The pace was right today, but the offensive production isn’t. With just over two minutes left, the Golden Eagles were ‘stuck’ on 38.

End of third quarter: Seton Hall 77, Marquette 48

Fourth quarter: Marquette came out with some half court trapping on the point guard, then fell back into a zone. Seton Hall did a great job spreading the floor. Taylor Byrne, a 6-­1 freshman, is doing a nice job, with some strong post moves, inside for the Hall. The Pirates were zoning for the better part of the quarter. Rather than just shoot perimeter shots, Marquette made an effort to get inside of the zone for scoring opportunities. The Hall had 99 with 25 seconds left and the ball. Coach Tony Bozzella held his hand up to signal no more shots, a classy gesture indeed.

Final: Seton Hall 99, Marquette 68

Possessions: Marquette 85, Seton Hall 82

Offensive efficiency: Marquette 80, Seton Hall 121

Four Factors:
eFG%: Marquette 37, Seton Hall 57
Free Throw Rate: Marquette 27, Seton Hall 35
Offensive Rebound %: Marquette 31, Seton Hall 34
Turnover Rate: Marquette 20, Seton Hall 13

Leading Scorers and Effectiveness Factors:
Marquette: ­Danielle King (16 points, EF 21)

Seton Hall: Tabatha Richardson­-Smith (20 points, EF 31)

What Marquette did well: Put three players in double figures. King, Hiedeman, (15 points) and Allazia Blockton (14 points) are all freshmen. That bodes for a bright future. Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella is convinced the Golden Eagles have a respectable present. “They (Marquette) had a very close loss at DePaul. They are pretty good and a team that will win their share of conference games,” Bozzella said.

What Seton Hall did well: Besides take every one of the Four Factors, the Hall got the lead and did not let up. “We learned from Creighton,” Bozzella said. “We led by 23 and they came back to tie (before the Hall sealed the win). I think we got a lesson from that game.”

Seton Hall led 56-­24 in points in the paint. The Pirates had six in double figures and 11 blocked shots, four by Lubirdia Gordon. In fact, Gordon had a very efficient five points, seven rebounds, four blocks and one turnover in 19 minutes.

LaTecia Smith of Seton Hall, a freshman guard, drew praise from Bozzella and Pirate teammates for a 14-point, 5-rebound effort. “She (Smith) struggled last game out,” Bozzella said. “She put some extra work in and had a great game. She is a very talented player.” Taylor Byrne finished with 10 points in 11 minutes. Asked about this performance paving the way to added playing time, Byrne replied, “it’s not about how much minutes I get. It’s about how productive I am on the court.” Her effectiveness factor was 11, an outstanding 1.00 EF per minute in terms of productivity.

Marquette is 5-­8, and visits St. John’s on Tuesday. Seton Hall is 13-­1, hosting DePaul the same night. “We have a tough stretch coming up,” Bozzella said. “One of my assistants said ‘enjoy this while you can.’ But you can’t forget, it is a long season.”

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