Lack of a bench haunts Pirates, they fall to Butler 70-68Date: February 2, 2019
By James Justice
An improbable 17-point climb was managed by the Seton Hall men’s basketball team from the 6:48 mark to the 0:42 mark of the second half on Saturday afternoon in storied Hinkle Fieldhouse. But a whistle for goaltending with 15 seconds remaining restored Butler’s lead and the Bulldogs exacted revenge for their Jan. 9 loss, winning 70-68.
Junior guard Myles Powell – held in check for almost three-quarters of the contest – uncorked vintage form in the final 11:01 with 16 points. His outside-right trey with 42 ticks remaining pulled Seton Hall even at 68-68. Needing three more as time winded down, Powell was off the mark on a beyond-the-arc attempt.
“You battled and that’s what I love about you guys,” Willard said to his team in the locker room afterward.
Elation turned to anguish in a flash as Romaro Gill’s block on Paul Jorgensen’s layup was negated for goaltending, giving Jorgensen his seventh field goal of the game.
Coming off the bench, Jorgensen finished with 18 points – 13 of which came in the first half – for a Butler team whose substitutes outscored Seton Hall’s, 36-9.
The home side started out with a 60 percent efficiency from three, leaving Seton Hall shuffling in circles on defense to no avail.
When the travelers from South Orange did cut the lead to 34-29 with under five minutes in the first half, Myles Cale was unable to finish a routine transition layup after his own steal. The miss from Cale – who was leading Seton Hall at the time with 10 points – paved the way for a game-changing Jorgensen three.
With Butler ahead 65-48, Seton Hall punched back and came a three-pointer short of turning the table. Michael Nzei knocked over the first domino with a layup, and from there, Powell scored 13 of what became a 19-3 run for the Pirates from the 6:48 mark to the 0:42 mark.
With a whistle and an unanswered prayer from Powell, Butler managed to avoid a 17-point collapse at home.
The Pirates are now 4-6 in the Big East – same as the Bulldogs – and 13-9 overall. They will host Creighton at the Prudential Center on Feb. 9.
James Justice can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JamesJusticeIII.