MILWAUKEE, WIS. - Sophomore Haralds Karlis (Riga, Latvia) scored a career-high 14 points, but the Seton Hall men's basketball team couldn't overcome a poor offensive first half and ultimately fell at #25 Marquette, 69-62, on Wednesday.
Karlis, making his first start of the season, was 4-for-7 from the field and pulled down six rebounds in a career-high 39 minutes. Sophomore Aaron Cosby (Louisville, Ky.) led Seton Hall with 15 points.
Gene Teague (Vineland, N.J.) pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds before fouling out late.
Seton Hall faced its third ranked opponent in 11 days, and did so with just seven healthy scholarship players. Still, the Pirates showed off a good defensive effort, holding the Golden Eagles to just 26 first half points.
Marquette took control early, scoring nine of the game's first 11 points. Trent Lockett's dunk gave the Golden Eagles a 9-2 lead with 13:51 remaining in the first half.
With Marquette ahead 12-4, Seton Hall went on an 8-1 run on the strength of three-pointers by Kyle Smyth (River Edge, N.J.) and Haralds Karlis to cut the Golden Eagles lead to 13-12. But Marquette's Davante Gardner scored the games next six points to extend their lead to 19-12 with 5:00 left in the half.
Vander Blue, Marquette's leading scorer, had been held without a point until the final two and a half minutes when he erupted for the Golden Eagles' final seven points of the half. His three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer game Marquette its largest lead of the half, 26-16.
Due to the Golden Eagles' stifling defense, Seton Hall shot just 23.5% (4-for-17) in the first half and was held without a field goal for the final 8:05. Marquette connected at a 37.0% clip.
The second half proved to be an offensive explosion compared to the prior 20 minutes.
Seton Hall scored five straight points to cut the Marquette lead to 28-24 with 15:46 left, but a 9-2 lead capped by a three-point play by Davante Gardner boosted the Golden Eagles lead back up to nine, 35-26, with 13:41 to go.
The Pirates chipped away, and eight straight points by Aaron Cosby, including three-pointers on back-to-back possessions cut the Marquette lead to 40-37. Karlis connected on a pair of free-throws to extend the Seton Hall run to 8-0 and bring the Pirates to within one. But the Golden Eagles responded with a 9-2 run, highlighted by three-pointers from Juan Anderson and Todd Mayo, to put them back up by eight, 49-41, with 7:45 to play.
Todd Mayo hit a desperation three-pointer as the shot-clock was expiring to give Marquette a commanding 60-48 lead with 3:10 to play, and the Pirates would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Seton Hall shot 47.2% in the second half, but Marquette performed at a 50.0% mark.
Davante Gardner came off the bench to lead the Golden Eagles with 17 points.
Seton Hall will take a week off, its first bye of the season, before returning to action on Wednesday, January 23 vs. USF at the Prudential Center. Game-time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.