This year’s edition of the NCAA Tournament has not gone as planned for the Big East. Entering Wednesday, the conference still had all four teams in the field then St. John’s went home leaving three teams remaining to carry the conference’s banner. Now that banner is down to being carried by just Villanova as Marquette went home and now the Seton Hall Pirates are on their way home following their defeat to the Wofford Terriers by a score of 84 to 68.
From the onset, the game was going to be a shootout as the Terriers were set to dictate by pushing the game out to the perimeter and put their skill sets to work. Once they got going the Pirates had no counter as the Terriers rained threes on Seton Hall to build an early lead. In pushing the game to the perimeter, it was tough for Seton Hall to adapt as some rash shooting took place early on the get the Pirates going, however it was a cold attempt as the engine to their game Myles Powell could not get anything going early on in this one finishing the first half with a mark of four points on the game. Wofford at that point were shooting 52% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc.
Though at that point Seton Hall were only down by ten at the half, they needed a strong run in the second half to get back into this one. Powell awoke in the second half and gave the Pirates a lot of life, scoring 23 points over the span of the second half to finish the night with 27 points on the game.
The second best scoring options Thursday were Jared Rhoden and Sandro Mamukelashvili both of whom finished the night with eight and seven points, respectively.
What was it about Wofford? Steady shooting and that ability to move and create the necessary space to get shots off. Well that and having Fletcher Magee who led the way with a 24-point game for the record books, as Magee broke the NCAA record for three pointers made. He was not alone as Wofford had four total players finish the night with double digit point totals. Nathan Hoover posted an 18 point game with some great late game shooting to put the game on ice for the Terriers. Cameron Jackson had a 14 point night with some great action inside the paint, and rounding out scoring options Storm Murphy posted a 11 point game.
As a team, Seton Hall tonight shot the ball at a rate of 40% from the floor, 33% from beyond the arc, and 60% from the foul line. On the reverse side, Wofford tonight shot the ball at a rate of 48% from the floor, 46% from beyond the arc, and 83% from the foul line. Seton Hall did out rebound Wofford 32 to 26 total rebounds but the Terriers made the most of second chance points with 16 scored. Lastly, the Pirates did commit 13 turnovers Thursday with 9 of those coming in the first half. Not exactly a great mark.
After just one full day of tournament action, the Big East is now down to just one team. It has been a down year for the conference and Thursday just furthered that along.