Whether it was physically or mentally, Seton Hall seemed like they had not recovered from their Big East Tournament championship during Thursday's first round 68-52 loss to Gonzaga. The West Coast Conference Champions came out of the gate with energy, taking an early lead they would not relinquish. Seton Hall, on the other hand, looked exhausted, and it showed in their sloppy play.
Gonzaga showed off their talented big men as they attacked the Pirates inside early and often. The Bulldogs made a point to feed Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer, as the pair finished with 21 and 13 points, respectively. Seton Hall had absolutely no answer for these two as Sabonis' bevy of post moves were too much for the young and tired Pirates' big men to handle. Wiltjer was not as hot as he normally is from the floor, but he did manage to nail two three pointers, and more importantly was a constant threat from the perimeter, preventing Seton Hall from focusing too much on Sabonis.
After a phenomenal Big East Tournament, Isaiah Whitehead was a non-factor for Seton Hall in this one. The player that fueled the Pirates unbelievable run finished with only 9 points on 4/24 shooting. Whitehead was so exhausted that he had to receive oxygen multiple times during the game. Its safe to say the young star was not himself in this one, and that was a major reason why the Pirates did not play up to expectations.
Seton Hall kept pace with the Zags for the early part of the game, behind a couple of impressive plays in transition. However, after taking a one point lead with just over 8 minutes to play, the Pirates when on an 8 and a half minute scoring drought that stretched into the second half. During this period, Gonzaga took a lead and extended it to over 10 points.
The Zags had a few sloppy possessions at the end of the game, but once Angel Delgado fouled with just over 4 minutes to play, the 11 seed began to feel very comfortable in their position. Despite needing more oxygen on the bench, Isaiah Whitehead tried to lead the miracle come back, but his efforts came up short in the end.
Seton Hall ends their 2015-16 campaign with plenty to be proud of. They reach heights most wouldn't have even dreamed possible for them back in November. But on this night, Seton Hall was simply not themselves, and that was not going to cut it against a very talented Gonzaga squad.