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Seton Hall vs. Xavier score: Pirates blow out Musketeers to earn huge win on the road

A big performance from Jared Rhoden helped Seton Hall extend their winning streak

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Xavier Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Seton Hall Pirates have gathered momentum up at the right time. On the road and in a hostile environment, they raced out to an early lead and ended up blowing out the Xavier Musketeers, 82-66. It’s now three wins in a row for Kevin Willard’s team as they remain sixth in the Big East standings, which is good enough for a first-round bye in the conference tourney.

It was a solid offensive performance from Seton Hall. As a team, they shot 57.1 percent from the field and knocked down shots from downtown as well with a percentage of 42.1. Jared Rhoden was the star of the show for the Pirates, leading the way with 30 points and six rebounds. Tray Jackson pitched in with 17 points while Kadary Richardson stepped up with 12 of his own along with seven assists. Nobody else reached double-digit point totals on the team but with the way the three of them were scoring, Seton Hall was doing just fine.

Losing a key game in terms of the standings will be a tough one for Xavier, especially given that it happened at home. The loss now drops the Musketeers to 17-11 on the season and they are now eighth in the Big East standings. Colby Jones led the way with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Zach Freemantle had 11 points but struggled with foul trouble. It was a rough game for Paul Scruggs as he scored just nine points and had three assists. Xavier 46 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point land. However, it was the turnovers and free throws which haunted them in this one.

The game was back and forth through the early parts before the Pirates started to pull away. Seton Hall finished the first half on a 7-2 run to balloon the lead up to eight. It was a key stretch that included a three from Tray Jackson, two missed free throws from Xavier followed by a layup by Myles Cale. This ensured the momentum was on the visitors' side as the game went into halftime.

However, the game was still in the balance for the Musketeers and the deficit was a manageable one. But mistakes haunted them. Xavier committed eight turnovers in the second half as they kept squandering away chances to make the game close. Each time they cut the lead down to a couple of possessions, Seton Hall either hit a big-time shot or the Musketeers gave the ball away. This includes a moment where Xavier missed two free throws following a technical foul on Richardson midway through the second half.

There were simply too many shaky offensive possessions and points left at the free-throw line as Xavier went 13 of 23 from the charity stripe. Seton Hall took advantage of the mistakes and ramped up the lead, going up by as much as 18 points in the second half. The Pirates completely took the crowd out of it down the stretch with some key shooting which crushed any hopes of a Musketeer comeback.

Seton Hall now looks to make it four wins in a row as they face Georgetown next Wednesday. Meanwhile, Xavier will look to get back on track as they face off against St. John’s on Wednesday in Carnesecca Arena.