for this game

Second-half surge lifts Marquette past Seton Hall

Feb 18, 2009 - 6:16 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Wesley Matthews scored 24 points to lead No. 11 Marquette to a 79-67 victory over Seton Hall on Tuesday.

Lazar Hayward added 14 points for the Golden Eagles (22-4, 11-2 Big East), who opened the second half with a 16-3 run to take control.

Jeremy Hazell scored 23 points for Seton Hall (14-11, 5-8), which has lost two straight.

Marquette has won all five meetings between the teams since joining the Big East Conference in 2005 and improved to 16-0 at home this season.

With Marquette leading, 34-28, Seton Hall closed out the half with a 9-0 run over the final 2:46, to take the lead at the half. Four different Pirates had a basket in the surge.

"I thought the game was really ragged in the first half and we have more turnovers than we typically do," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "It was somewhat due to them and our inefficiency in attacking the zone."

Marquette started the second half by scoring six straight points.

With the score tied, 40-40, the Golden Eagles then went on a 10-0 run highlighted by a dunk by Matthews.

"I thought that in the second half, we were maybe as good as we have been all year long, defensively, in the first 16 minutes," Williams said. "We are thankful for the win. We played most of the game against St. John's and that 16:12 tonight the way that we have to play to win and have success."

Shortly thereafter, John Garcia fouled out with 14:24 left in the second half. Technical fouls were called on Hazell and the Seton Hall bench and Marquette made five of six free throws to extend the lead to 55-42.

A final 13-3 run gave the Golden Eagles their largest lead of the game, 73-50 with 5:10 remaining.

""We can't let up at any point in this league," Matthews said. "Especially tonight and Saturday, Wednesday, whenever we play again because every team is going to throw their best punch at us."

The Pirates shot only 9-for-26 (35 percent) from the floor in the second half and were outrebounded 25-14 after the break.

Freshman Jordan Theodore had a season-high 15 points and Paul Gause scored 12 points for the Pirates. Gause had 10 of his points in the first half to help the Pirates open a slim lead.

"We thought that the first half was kind of like perfect for us with the way that we wanted to play," Seton Hall Head Coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "We thought that the zone was terrific and we really slowed them down, we were playing motivated basketball and we went into halftime with a three point lead.

"They are the type of team where if they see a crack in the door, they are going to blow it open."