Seton Hall suffered their first home loss of the season on Tuesday, and for the second straight time they were defeated by the Butler Bulldogs at home. The Pirates fought hard in a game that really could have gone either way, but a physical Butler team was able to pull it out. In a game where one mistake could cost a team the entire game, the Pirates showed how mature they are once again, but did not make enough plays to win it.
In the first half, the Pirates were able to hang around and they even took a lead into the break. Good shooting and rebounding kept a hard-nosed Butler team in check, but in the second half the Bulldogs came out swinging. Butler had a nine point lead with 12:24 to go in the game, but the Pirates fought back and forced overtime.
The Big East has seven or possibly eight teams that could make a case for the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today and there are only four teams that are still undefeated at home in conference play. Do not be surprised if that number shrinks to zero by the end of Big East play. Home games this season will not be a walk in the park because teams like Butler can get wins away from home. This is another example of two tough Big East teams in a physical battle with one team making enough plays to pull it out. That is the difference between the Big East this year and the conference a season ago.
Seton Hall team observations
- The Pirates shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and took a four point lead into the half. It seemed as if The Hall were able to battle with this physical team.
- Seton Hall's bench outscored Butler 27-8, which is a huge differential, but 20 of those points came from one player (Khadeen Carrington).
- Butler outscored the Pirates 19-10 in second chance points, which was a big difference in this game. They would not give up and were persistent on the glass.
- This game had eight ties and five lead changes and in the second half the Pirates had to constantly catch up.
- Seton Hall made up a nine point deficit down the stretch in the second half. Despite losing, the Pirates are getting the experience of having to come back. In non-conference play people were worried they would have enough of that for Big East play.
- Both teams committed nine turnovers, but Butler outscored the Pirates by a 14-11 margin, which is not huge, but it makes a difference in a close game like this.
- Seton Hall shot 33.3 percent (9-27) in the second half and 27.3 percent (3-11) from the field in overtime. The shot selection came into question down the stretch for the Pirates.
- The Pirates were only outscored 34-30 in points coming inside of the paint, which means The Hall were getting better looks. That is a step in the right direction.
- Against a Butler team that can really rebound, the Pirates were outrebounded 45-37, which a big margin. However, with a young team it is impressive that they hung with a veteran team in this category.
- The Pirates could not stop Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones who finished with a combined 44 points. They made vital plays down the stretch and in overtime.
Seton Hall individual observations
- The Sterling Gibbs show continued with 30 points on Tuesday. He shot a blistering 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, but did foul out in overtime and the Pirates struggled to find shots from that point on.
- Khadeen Carrington had a career-high 20 points off the bench with 14 of those points coming in the second half. He had another great game at home and has taken the role as the second scoring option at times for the Pirates.
- Big East Rookie of the Week Angel Delgado had another double-double as he finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Delgado continues to be a consistent rebounder and is arguably the best in the conference. He is just a freshman.
- Brandon Mobley also left the game in overtime with a cramp and finished with six points and seven rebounds. The Pirates missed him with players like Jones and Kameron Woods still on the floor in overtime.
- Desi Rodriguez only had two points and five rebounds, which was a step back from his recent double digit rebounding performances. His only basket was a pretty nice dunk, but at times The Hall could use more scoring from him.
- For the third time this season, Jaren Sina failed to record a point. He did not score against George Washington, Wichita State and now Butler. All of these performances have come in important games the Pirates. The team needs to get more out of him when it counts the most.
- Haralds Karlis, Rashed Anthony and Stephane Manga played a combine 25 minutes and only scored a total of five points. The Pirates are not expecting much from them so anything they can give you, for the most part, is a plus.
Seton Hall was not able to defeat Butler at home and it will difficult for the Pirates to get revenge on the road trip coming up, but the team made another step. They were able to battle through a deficit and force overtime. We have to remember that this is a young team that is growing up every game.
Isaiah Whitehead could return into the fold during the road trip, but the Pirates want to be in good shape when and if he does come back. Whitehead will be able to work his way back into the lineup and Seton Hall wants to be in good shape in the standings when they incorporate him back into the offense.
For the DePaul game, the Pirates need to win with another two game road trip on the horizon. The Pirates are very good at home and against teams they should defeat they need to take advantage because we have seen that they have not played as well on the road. The Pirates are 3-0 after losses this season and will look to defend home court again when the Blue Demons come to town on Jan. 22.