The Musketeers jumped out to an early 9-4 lead, but the Pirates went on a 17-3 run to get a lead they would never relinquish. Seton Hall led 40-32 at the half, eventually building its largest advantage with a 67-51 lead about halfway through the second half. A late, press-induced Xavier flurry helped the Musketeers trim their deficit to four with two minutes left, but the Pirates were able to take advantage of a handful of Xavier miscues to finish the game on an 8-0 run.
Xavier primarily used junior forward Naji Marshall to hawk Powell and it worked fairly well as Powell’s 24 points came on 21 shots and he went only 2-8 from deep. It was the rest of the Pirates that hurt Xavier, as Travis Steele’s squad allowed non-Powell players to shoot 21-37 (56.8%) from the field. While not terribly efficient, Powell scored 105 points in his four games at Cintas Center which figures to be the most of any opponent on Xavier’s home court.
Sophomore forward Jared Rhoden scored a career-high 16 points for the Pirates, while senior point Quincy McKnight had 15 points and 8 assists in the victory. Senior center Romaro Gill added 11 points and five blocks. The Pirates outrebounded the Musketeers 35-25 and tallied eight blocks in the contest.
65 of Xavier’s 71 points came from four players. Senior forward Tyrique Jones led the Musketeers with 19 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Paul Scruggs had 17 points, junior forward Naji Marshall had 15 points, while junior forward Jason Carter tallied 14 points. The Musketeers were swallowed up by Gill and sophomore center Ike Obiagu and struggled from inside-the-arc going 16-36 (44.4%). Moving forward, Steele would likely be happy with the performance from beyond-the-arc (going 8-18 at a 44.4% clip) and from the free-throw line (15-18 at 83.3%), well above their averages entering the night of 29.7% and 67.3%, respectively. The loss ended Xavier’s 13-game home winning streak.
Seton Hall (11-3, 3-0) returns to the Rock to face Marquette (11-4, 1-2) Saturday at 4 p.m. The scintillating match-up between Powell and Markus Howard will be televised on CBSSN. Xavier (12-4, 1-2) wraps up a three-game homestand by hosting Creighton (12-4, 1-2). That game tips at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on FOX. We at BECB hope you have cable.