Game Preview: Seton Hall searches for signature win against No. 23 Nova (3/9/19)Date: March 8, 2019
By Liam Plate
In trying to keep their hot streak going into the Big East Tournament, the Seton Hall men’s basketball (17-12 overall, 8-9 conference) will play host to the No. 23 Villanova Wildcats (22-8 overall, 13-4 conference) at the Prudential Center on Saturday afternoon.
Seton Hall is coming off a huge 73-64 victory against the No. 16 Marquette Golden Eagles, who are also in first place in the Big East Conference. The Pirates were led by Myles Powell with 34 points and Michael Nzei with 10 points.
Seton Hall started out slow in the first half shooting 9% from the three-point line. The Golden Eagles killed the Pirates under the boards, outrebounding them 27-13, but Marquette had only five second chance points.
The Pirates played well on the defensive end forcing Markus Howard to commit two personal fouls in the first half. Seton Hall also forced 14 turnovers and had 18 points off of turnovers.
The Pirates came out strong in the second half shooting well in all aspects. It was a different story underneath the basket in the second half as they out rebounded the Golden Eagles 22-17, and won the points in the paint battle by 10 points. Seton Hall continued to shut down Howard, limiting him to six points total in the game and got him in early foul trouble with two in the first half and one in the second half.
Seton Hall ended the last four minutes of the game on an 18-0 run. Marquette could not find their stroke towards the end of the game, and it is much due to Seton Hall’s defensive play, especially Quincy McKnight’s on Howard.
A takeaway from the game is that the Pirates have changed their game from focusing on outside scoring to inside scoring. Seton Hall has come alive in the paint due to the team’s aggressiveness towards the basket.
As for the opposition, Villanova is coming off a 75-54 win versus the Butler Bulldogs. The Wildcats were led by Phil Booth with 28 points and Eric Paschall with 12.
Seton Hall will need their aggressive play on offense and defense if they want to take down the defending national champions on Saturday. The last time the two teams met, the Wildcats controlled the game the entire way winning 80-52. Villanova had three players score in double digits while Seton Hall had one. In Philadelphia, the Wildcats could not miss from beyond the arc and Seton Hall could not buy a bucket. Powell was held to only three points in the entire game.
The Pirates’ keys to this game will be scoring in the paint, limiting Villanova’s three-point opportunities, converting on the free throw line, and shutting down Booth like they did Howard vs. Marquette. Also, if Villanova plays Powell the way they did last time, it could spell trouble for the Pirates if no one else steps up.
89.5 FM WSOU will have your coverage of the game starting at 11:45 am with Wilnir Louis and Michael Daly. Then at 12:00, Matt Ambrose and Frank Frasco will be your voices for the rest of the game.
Liam Plate can be reached at email@example.com.