Seton Hall strolled into Wednesday's game against Butler riding a four-game win streak with their sights set on, not only a fifth straight win, but also continuing their rise up the conference standings. On top of that, Isaiah Whitehead was white hot for the Hall tonight, but in the end his work on the floor tonight would not be enough as Butler would walk away with a 81 to 75 win, thanks in part, to the play of Kelan Martin who has been a bit of a talisman for the Bulldogs as of late.
It was a game with non-stop action from beginning to end, with both teams playing their absolute best for the full forty minutes, and could have gone on for another five minutes in overtime had Seton Hall held on in the end.
By the end of the first half, as the game was tied at 38, Isaiah Whitehead had 23 points on the game with no signs of slowing down. While he would cool off in the second half of the game, with only three points over the duration of the second half, the first half was his stage as he shot the ball at a perfectly torrid pace going 8-of-8 in all and 7-of-7 from three point range.
While Whitehead was hot, it was the only thing keeping Seton Hall afloat at times. Especially considering he scored the lion's share of points in the first half as five players for the Pirates ended the first half with zero points and their next best scorer was Desi Rodriguez who had 7 points by the half. Rodriguez who was able to shine in the second half as Whitehead dropped off, finishing the second half with 11 points on 5-of-7.
In all for Seton Hall, Whitehead was their leading scorer on the night with his aforementioned 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting and 3-of-4 from the foul line, on what was a double-double night where he also finished with 10 assist. Desi Rodriguez was The Hall's best secondary scorer on the night finishing with 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting, Rounding it all off, Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado both had 11 point nights as well.
For Butler, Kelan Martin has been their go to for quite a few games now in Big East play, providing an ever reliable option for Chris Holtmann's side. Wednesday night, had a double-double affair with team-leading marks of 23 points on 7-of- 13 shooting and 8-of-10 from the foul line, and 10 rebounds. Kellan Dunham was their best secondary option on the floor, as he finished the evening with 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 8-of-10 from the foul line. Rounding it all out, both Tyler Wideman and Andrew Chrabascz finished the night with 11, and Roosevelt Jones hit the 10 point mark.
Oddly enough both teams would turnover the ball at the same rate of 14 turnovers and would score the same amount of points from turnovers at 16 points.
With this game in the books, it bolsters Butler's NCAA Tournament resume, as they are still on bubble watch for now. Seton Hall, meanwhile, could have used this win to continue their stretch of games, but now have a bit of a reset coming out of this loss. From the neutral perspective it was a fun back and forth game, with both teams looking nearly ready for March.