Newark, NJ - It wasn’t easy. Seton Hall defeated DEPaul 69-64 at the Prudential Center. Sunday’s game saw the Pirates improve to 15-9 (8-5) while DePaul dropped to 9-15 (3-10). The points of emphasis:
Jackson gave a lift. At the under 12 media time out Seton Hall was looking at a 15-2 deficit. The Hall was also 0 for the floor. Tray Jackson entered the contest and scored the Pirates first field goal on a layup with 10:40 remaining in the half. "When I came in I wanted to do whatever I could," Jackson said. "The offense was stagnant and my first thought was to get to the rim."
When Tony Stubblefield’s Blue Demons were on that run, Seton Hall coach Shaheen called a time out. "You can’t start a game like that on our home court," Holloway said. "During time out I can’t tell you what I said but they were nice words," the coach added with a smile. The Pirates got the message.
Seton Hall is on a roll. Shaheen Holloway’s group had their struggles early in Big East play. The Pirates dropped their first three and four of their first five in conference play. Since then they have been on a hot streak. Pirates have now won three straight, seven of their last eight. "We are playing together, we are connected and focused," Tyrese Samuel said. "We came in with a lot of guys who hadn’;t played in the Big East. Now they are comfortable, they know how fouls are called. At this point we are a hard team to play against."
Defense. The coaching cliche tells us offense is like the stock market, defense has to be your constant. Seton Hall had a subpar afternoon on the offensive end. The Pirates shot 35% from the floor and actually had eight less field goals (18) than the Blue Demons (26). Defensively, the Pirates held DePaul to 40% shooting from the floor while forcing 14 turnovers.
DePaul shot 21 of 44 (48%) inside the arc. On a number of possessions Seton Hall was able to cut off dribble penetration and limit inside opportunities. Forced to resort to shooting from the perimeter, DePaul was only able to hit 5 of 21 (24%).
Pirates did have a problem containing Umoja Gibson. The 6’1" senior hit for a game-high 21 points. Gibson knocked down three from beyond the arc and was one Blue Demon able to successfully penetrate the Pirate defense.
Spreading the wealth. Seton Hall placed five in double figures. Tyrese Samuel and Kaday Richmond led Seton Hall with 14 points apiece. KC Nedfo added 13 while Al-Amir Dawes and Tray Jackson scored 12 and 10 respectively.
Free throws. DePaul shot 7 of 15 (47%) while the Hall was 30 of 45 for 67%. DePaul was in a late game fouling mode, putting the Pirates on the line for 12 free throws in the final minute alone. Seton Hall hit 7 of those 12 (58%). There were a few anxious moments as the Pirates misfired several times. On the other end, DePaul never got it closer than two possessions in the final 60 seconds. Regardless, expect the charity stripe to be addressed as the Pirates prepare for Creighton.
Next up, Creighton. Given the recent run by Seton Hall Holloway was asked about how the rest of the campaign may play out. "I am only concerned with the next game," the coach remarked. "We have Creighton on Wednesday (at the Prudential Center). They are well coached, talented and play a unique way. For us it is day to day and it all starts with practice on Monday."