The Pirates have lost two in a row at The Rock and have fallen to 3-3 in conference play with a two game road stretch upcoming. Yes, it is the Big East and this year has shown that anyone can win on any night in the conference, but The Hall have not been playing like a ranked team of late. This is still a young team that is trying to figure it all out, but in this conference the Pirates need to figure it out sooner rather than later.
In the first half, the Pirates fell behind by as many as 10 points and did not start the game out well after the nine day layoff between this game and the Butler loss. They looked a little sluggish and out of it at the beginning of the game, but were able to make a run in cut the deficit to just three at the half.
This game played out in a similar way to the loss in the previous game to Butler. The Pirates had to constantly battle from behind, which can wear down on a young team. When they finally made a breakthrough and took a lead, it did not seem like The Hall had enough to sustain good play late in the game. The Pirates lost this important game for many reasons and need to improve on certain things if they want to get back on track, in general, especially on the road.
· The Pirates shot 35.5 percent from the field in the first half and played very hard throughout the game, but did not make enough plays to win.
· Seton Hall’s bench was outscored by DePaul 23-5, which was surprising and played a major role in the loss.
· More on the team not giving in. The Hall tallied 22 second chance points compared to the six from the Blue Demons.
· The Pirates had an eight point lead with 5:49 to go, but could not hold on. It took a lot out of the team to come back and when they finally built a lead, Seton Hall did not have enough mental strength left to hold on. They reached the mountain top too early and it cost them.
· Seton Hall shot just 24.1 percent (7-24) in the second half and still had a chance to pull the game out. That is not a good trend, especially since they lost it.
· The Pirates committed 15 turnovers and those turned into 19 points for DePaul while The Hall scored 14 points off of the 14 Blue Demon turnovers.
· Seton Hall made 23 of 35 free throws. The team is getting progressively better from the charity stripe.
· The Hall shot 1-16 from behind the arc, which is the statistic that sums up why they could not win this game. They just could not make enough shots. That is basketball.
· On the glass, the Pirates outrebounded the Blue Demons 48-42, which was key in getting back into the game.
· This was another Big East thriller that had 10 lead changes and six ties throughout. I would not be surprised if many games this season are decided by a small margin.
· All in all, the Pirates fought hard enough, but could not finish the game strong.
· The lack of production from Sterling Gibbs certainly hurt the Pirates. He finished with just eight points on 2-16 shooting from the field. If Gibbs plays half as well as he has been of late the Pirates would probably have won.
· Khadeen Carrington had 12 points with eight of them coming from the free throw line. However, he shot just 2-9 from the field and could have played better too.
· Angel Delgado had a night to remember as he tallied career-highs in both points and rebounds with 19 apiece. He was the best Pirates on the floor and played his heart out for the team.
· Brandon Mobley had 10 points, eight rebounds and the quote that summed it all up. Mobley said this after the loss. "We just got knocked back down to earth." The Pirates have been so high after their hot start, but need to regain good form. That quote said it all.
· Desi Rodriguez only had five points and two rebounds. He added his name to the list of players who underperformed in this game.
· Jaren Sina only had six points and his three pointer, the only one that the Pirates made, was important, but his impact in the big games have been lacking, especially in the box score. According to Coach Kevin Willard, Sina practically runs the offense, but just does not do enough for someone who is a leader on this team.
· Haralds Karlis, Rashed Anthony and Stephane Manga played a total of 19 minutes and tallied just two points. The Pirates did not have a good amount of production from the bench and this trio did nothing to make an impact.
Wrapping it all up
Seton Hall ended up putting so much weight on the shoulders of Delgado and he did carry them at times during the game, but The Hall cannot expect him to do that. He is a freshman and the Pirates cannot win games this way. The lack of production from Gibbs and Sina was vital in the loss. It has to improve going forward, especially with Isaiah Whitehead out for a little while longer.
Pirates’ fans can wish that Whitehead was back until they are blue (and white) in the face, but according to Willard, Whitehead could be sidelined until the rematch against DePaul in early February. The Hall will have to figure these issues out with Whitehead on the bench, which could be good if they can solve them. This is a young team, but solving the problem is doable and it starts with better play overall at the defensive end. When Whitehead’s six weeks of healing are up I would think that is the green light to play him. At that point, the Pirates should be ready to finish the season strong. Until then, they need to figure these issues out.
As The Hall prepare for a rematch with Butler there are many questions will be answered. Can the Pirates bounce back? Can they bounce back on the road? Will Sterling Gibbs get back on track? Will the Pirates grow up and come back down to earth? We will not know until Sunday, but one thing is for sure this team will do everything in their power to try and fix it. That effort and fight is something that all Pirates’ fans can be proud of.