The Seton Hall Pirates couldn’t quite overcome a woeful performance down the stretch. The Pirates held a 59-54 lead at the 6:21 mark, but let the Louisville Cardinals finish out on a 16-6 run to take a 70-65 win away from them.
New Louisville head coach Chris Mack had been defeated by one of his former Big East coaching peers in Steve Wojciechowski and the Marquette Golden Eagles last week. But after defeating the Michigan State Spartans earlier in the week in OT in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, Mack had the Cardinals ready and eluded a loss to another former Big East coaching peer.
The Pirates suffered down the stretch and only had two made baskets in the final 6:21 after Myles Cale’s dunk with 6:21 to play. The first was a Myles Powell 3-pointer that put the Pirates down one point. But, Ryan McMahon answered with a 3-ball of his own and all they could get after that was a free throw from Sandro Mamukelashvili and a layup by Anthony Nelson. The offense simply stagnated and had no sense of order and rhythm and was a primary reason they saw their lead slip and slide away from them.
Powell did all he could to keep Seton Hall in the game and once again led the team in points. The junior scored 23 points, a game-high on both sides by a hearty margin. He was ineffective from deep however, as he shot 2-for-12 from beyond the arc. Seton Hall was just 3-for-18 from outside, with the lone bucket not from Powell coming from Cale.
Cale and Powell took 16 of the 18 3-pointers that the Pirates attempted, with the others coming from Mamukelashvili and Jared Rhoden. Mamukelashvili did get 10 points though and Michael Nzei stepped up again and got into double figures as well with 12 points of his own. Cale had nine, but the remaining Pirates were relatively held in check.
Louisville was led by a pretty collaborative effort. Their leading scorer was Dwayne Sutton, but he had only 12 points. Jordan Nwora put up nine points, as did McMahon and Darius Perry. Steven Enoch had eight points while Christen Cunningham had seven and Malik Williams had six.
This was a disappointing effort and certainly a winnable game for Seton Hall. The Pirates are not absent big opportunities of course, as they still have the Kentucky Wildcats and Maryland Terrapins on their docket in the month of December. But they now fall to 1-3 vs. KenPom Top 100 teams and Louisville will be the best team they play at home until Big East play starts. Their hope now is that this loss doesn’t get away from them too much and now puts more onus on them to win those big-time matchups later this month.