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No. 25 Marquette beats Seton Hall 69-62

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No. 25 Marquette beats Seton Hall 69-62

MILWAUKEE (AP) Reserve forward Davante Gardner scored 17 points to lead No. 25 Marquette to a 69-62 victory over injury-depleted Seton Hall, which had just eight available players Wednesday night.

The Golden Eagles (13-3, 4-0 Big East), who moved into the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time this season, got 12 points from Todd Mayo to win their season-high sixth straight game.

Vander Blue had 11 points and four assists as the three Golden Eagles combined to go 17 of 18 from the free throw line to claim their 19th consecutive home victory.

Aaron Cosby had 15 points for Seton Hall (12-6, 1-4), which never led in the game.

Haralds Karlis added 14 points and six rebounds for the Pirates, who dropped their season-high fourth straight game.

Seton Hall, which had only three players on the bench due to injuries, lost second-leading scorer, Eugene Teague, who fouled out with 4:03 left. Top scorer Fuquan Edwin picked up his fifth foul with 1:40 to play.

Walk-on Connor Laverty, who has played just 4 minutes all season, sat on the bench the entire game.

The Pirates' Brandon Mobley did not play because he dislocated his shoulder in a 67-55 loss to Providence on Sunday. Brian Oliver, Patrik Auda and Kevin Johnson also missed the game because they were hurt, and Freddie Wilson hasn't been with the team since transferring after the eighth game.

Nevertheless, Seton Hall cut Marquette's lead to 40-39 when Karlis made two free throws with 9:09 left to cap an 8-0 run.

Marquette increased its lead to 53-48 and then pulled away with a 7-0 run late in the second half.

Mayo and Gardner both made two free throws, and then they combined to put Seton Hall away on the next play.

Gardner passed the ball to Mayo at the left wing, and he calmly drilled a 3-pointer over the leaping Kyle Smyth for the Golden Eagles' biggest lead, 60-48, with 3:07 remaining.

The first half was not exactly entertaining, as Marquette took a 26-16 lead.

It was the fewest points allowed in any half by the Golden Eagles and the fewest scored by Seton Hall this season, as the Pirates shot just 23.5 percent (4 of 17).

Marquette opened the game by taking a 9-2 lead with 13:51 remaining. At that point, Seton Hall had more turnovers (6) than shots (5).

A 3-pointer by Karlis cut Marquette's lead to 13-12 with 8 minutes to play, but that would be the last field goal of the half for the Pirates.

Marquette scored 13 of the final 17 points of the half. A 3-pointer by Blue with 2 seconds left gave his team the 10-point margin lead.

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John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

Coach John Harbaugh, just six days after his team’s disappointing 28-12 loss to the Titans in the AFC playoffs, has already had to defend his quarterback.

Faced with some criticism after Jackson finished 31-of-59 passing, and three total turnovers, Harbaugh mentioned how far Jackson has come in the last year — which also ended in an early playoff loss at home.

“It’s really interesting to look at Lamar Jackson, because look at the progress he made in the last year,” Harbaugh said Friday. “Because the same question, I think you might have asked it last year, how is he going to get better going forward? And he did a good job, right? He’s 23 years old. He’s younger than Joe Burrow. So, he has a pretty good head start right now.”

Jackson is now 0-2 in the playoffs with a 19-3 regular season record. 



He’s likely the MVP this season after he passed for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for 1,000 yards, setting the single-season rushing record for a quarterback along the way. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns and carried the most prolific offense in the league to a league-best 14-2. 

Harbaugh isn’t worried that his quarterback, who is just 23-years-old, hasn’t found his playoff success yet.

“The Manning brothers combined to, they had five losses in their first five playoff games before they won one,” Harbaugh explained. (Joe) Montana, (Steve) Young and (Brett) Favre didn’t start a playoff game until their third season, (Drew) Brees and (Troy) Aikman, until their fourth season, and (Aaron) Rodgers until his fifth season.”

After the season ended, Harbaugh added that Jackson went to his office to discuss the offseason and what he needed to do to improve. 

While Harbaugh and the offensive coaching staff had a plan for Jackson to improve, Jackson “nailed” each and every single critique that the coaches had laid out for him.

“I’m really confident in Lamar and his understanding the things he needs to do to get better, and that he’s going to work really hard to keep building himself up as a player,” Harbaugh said.

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DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has drawn criticism because of his performance in D.C. during his 5-year, $75 million contract he signed in April 2016. Former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall came to Norman’s defense during a radio appearance with Craig Hoffman on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“He does compete, he’s a competitor. And if I have a football player on my roster who’s a competitor, who wants to be out there, who fights hard and plays hard, I’m [going to] find a way to put him in position to make plays,” Hall said. “I think we could’ve done a much, much better job of putting Josh in position to make plays.”

In November, then-interim head coach Bill Callahan benched Norman, and the 32-year-old cornerback played just 10 defensive snaps over the last six games of the season. Should Washington choose to cut ties with Norman this offseason before June 1, the team would save $12.5 million of cap space.

Hall, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive backs’ coaching position last January, said Norman wasn’t given the chance to be the leader of the defense. Hall said some of that was self-inflicted because of Norman’s habits and preparation, but a portion of that was because of schematics. 

“I always told those coaches ‘If you want Josh to be a leader — because Josh wants to be a leader — you’ve got to put him in a position to make plays, the same way Carolina put him in a position to make plays,” Hall said. 

The peak of Norman’s career came in 2015 under the direction of Washington’s newly hired head coach Ron Rivera. In that all-pro season, Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns. 

Hall believes Norman still possesses that all-pro ability; it just needs to be tapped with the right defensive scheme. Hall compared the situation to Richard Sherman, who has revitalized his career in San Francisco after battling injuries. 

“It’s not because [Sherman] is the best lockdown man-to-man corner. It’s because they play Sherm in a system that he’s able to succeed and shine, and they put players around him so that he can make plays,” he said. “If we [would’ve] done the same thing to Josh Norman, he could’ve been an all-pro player here, too, just like he was in Carolina.”

Despite Hall’s belief in Norman’s ability, and the presumption that Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will run a similar system to what Norman played in with the Panthers, the former Redskins defensive back doesn’t think the $15 million price tag is worth it for a franchise that has other holes to fill.

“I, as a fan, would love to have Josh back on this team, in this defense that I feel will be similar to Carolina,” Hall said. “But to me, it doesn’t make sense to bring Josh back for $15 million. It’s just a big pill to swallow when you can do a lot with that money on a team that needs a lot of help.”

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