With Ismael Sanogo on the bench nursing his ankle sprain, and Jevon Thomas’s sudden departure from the program Wednesday afternoon, the Seton Hall Pirates were left with two questions to answer. Would the team be able to fill the significant gap left in their defense with Sanogo’s absence, and how would the departure of Thomas affect Seton Hall’s short bench? It took the Pirates some adjusting, but they found a way to win a close one in overtime by a score of 72-70 over the Providence Friars.
Early on, the Friars worked through Kyron Cartwright. He was effortlessly driving the lane through Seton Hall’s lackluster defense which enabled him to score, dish off to Rodney Bullock, or kick out for easy three point jumpers. This efficient offensive play from the Friars guided them on a huge 19-2 run which gave them a 27-12 lead with 8:52 remaining in the first half.
But, Desi Rodriguez and Khadeen Carrington lead a big charge from the Pirates as the lead got to cut 37-36 with less than one minute remaining in the half. It seemed as though the Pirates had all momentum heading into halftime, but a crazy sequence of events at the end of the half changed that.
Rodriguez was whistled for a flagrant-one foul on what appeared to be a very controversial call, as Rodriguez was clearly attempting to block the basketball, but connected with the head of a Friar. Kyron Cartwright hit the technical free throws and the Friars lead by five at halftime.
Carrington and Delgado were able to continue to lead the Pirates as they cut the five point halftime deficit to a tie early in the second half. The Hall finally took the lead on two Angel Delgado free throws with 15 minutes remaining in regulation.
Throughout the duration of the action the teams continued to trade blows back and forth, whenever it seemed as though Seton Hall was able to cut into the lead, Providence would hit a three pointer or go on a mini-run to take a bigger lead.
With 6:34 remaining the Pirates took their largest lead on a Khadeen Carrington pass to Angel Delgado for a lay in.
Another momentum changing play of the game was on an Angel Delgado miss, Michael Nzei rose and scored on a put back dunk to keep the Pirates lead at four at the final media timeout. The game was a nail bitter as with 56.2 seconds the Pirates held a one point lead. Rodney Bullock nailed a two point jumper from the free throw line with 43 seconds remaining to help the Friars retake the lead. On the ensuing possession down the court Desi Rodriguez would hit one free throw to tie the game up at 61.
In this barn burner, regulation was not enough as this game entered overtime. Overtime was tight again, but it was freshman Myles Powell who made a contested jumper in traffic with three seconds left to give the Pirates the go-ahead bucket to win the game.
With the win Seton Hall moves to 15-8 (5-6) on the season, and Providence falls to 14-11 (4-8).
Things We Learned
Khadeen Has Been Redeemed
Khadeen Carrington has had his share of struggles recently. Wednesday night he put up 21 points. While he had some issues with turnovers, it was Carrington’s three pointer and tough contested layup after driving through the Providence defense which kept the Pirates within striking distance in overtime. The Pirates need a go-to guy in the final stretch of close games if they are going to continue to have success in the conference, and Carrington may be that guy.
Providence is as tough as nails
Both occasions that these two teams have met this season have been barnburners, Providence is supposed to be in a rebuilding year, but the Friars are scary. Kyron Cartwright is a flashy guard who can hurt a team from anywhere on the court, and Rodney Bullock and Emmitt Holt both tested the best big man in the Big East, Angel Delgado, all game long. The Friars may finish in the lower part of the Big East this year, but next year the Friars will be a force to be reckoned with.
Seton Hall continues to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive with their two recent overtime wins over Georgetown and Providence. Most bracket projections currently have the Pirates playing in Dayton in the First Four. The Pirates need to take care of St. Johns on Saturday at MSG and win at least two of three in a huge home stretch which includes Creighton, Villanova and Xavier.