Seton Hall picked up perhaps their biggest nonconference win in a generation at home on Saturday afternoon, defeating Fred VanVleet and the Wichita State Shockers in overtime, 80-76.
It was a disappointing first half for the Pirates as Wichita State jumped out a lead early and kept that lead all throughout the first half. Behind the veteran duo of Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, the Shockers showed why many view them as one of the top mid-major teams in college basketball.
The Shockers shot the ball very well from three-point land in the first half and the game as a whole, shooting 46.7 percent from deep. It was a 40-32 lead at the break for Wichita State and it looked like it could get ugly if Seton Hall didn't come out gunning to begin the second half.
The second half was a very physical game as Seton Hall kept trying to get back into the game but Wichita State always seemed to hit a clutch three to distance the lead. But it was Desi Rodriguez who took over late for the Pirates as he brought Seton Hall to tie the game and take the lead with less than two minutes left in the game. The teams battled back and forth and neither team were able to find the game-winner, so overtime was needed.
Seton Hall kept making stops when needed and Wichita State, who played a sloppy second half filled with turnovers and fouls, could not seem to find the basket. Both Baker and VanVleet missed game-tying layups and Seton Hall were able to see out the victory as they earned a huge victory against one of the top teams in the country.
Here are three things we learned.
1. 3-point shooting is key
This was a game where both teams shot exceptional from deep. Wichita State shot almost 47 percent from three and Seton Hall shot around 43 percent from three. The 3-ball was what the Shockers used to keep Seton Hall at bay until the Pirates big run to end the game. Fred VanVleet led Wichita St with four made 3's and Isaiah Whitehead hit three for Seton Hall. Wichita was able to jump out to a big lead in the first half because of the 3-point shooting and was the only reason why Seton Hall didn't win this game in regulation. It literally saved the Shockers.
2. Wichita State broke down in the second half
It was a solid first half of basketball from Gregg Marshall's team. The Shockers looked like a well-oiled machine as they jumped out to a big lead against a young and inexperienced Seton Hall team. A 40-32 lead wasn't the best but it looked like Wichita State had a stronghold on the game as we were about to begin the second half. But it all changed in the second half as the Shockers went downhill. Silly fouls and turnovers were a common theme in the second half and allowed Seton Hall to stay in the game. After scoring 40 in the first half, Wichita State scored 36 in the second half and OT combined. Yikes.
3. Desi Rodriguez bounced again
In case you haven't noticed, Desi Rodriguez is a pretty good player. Rodriguez led Seton Hall in scoring with 18 points and made some clutch shots in the second half and lived at the line in this game. Rodriguez made seven out of nine from the free throw stripe. After failing to score double digits in three of his last four games, it was good for Seton Hall to see Rodriguez bounce back with a strong performance.