No.10 Seton Hall drops a close game in the final minutes to No.23 CreightonDate: February 13, 2020
By: Christian Gardner
The No.10 Seton Hall Pirates fell to the No. 23 Creighton Bluejays to the score of 87 - 82. The Bluejays balanced offensive attack was on display with four players finishing with 18 points.
It was a back and forth game throughout and it was evident from the first whistle. Coming into the game the Bluejays knew that they would be undersized in this matchup given that only three Bluejays were listed above 6-feet-7-inches. With Seton Hall being one of the biggest teams in the country with two players taller than seven the Bluejays were up for the challenge.
Sophomore forward Christian Bishop, who is only 6-foot-7-inches won the tip over 7-foot-2-inch Romaro Gill and went to work down low for the Bluejays. In the first half Bishop had three offensive rebounds and got to the line three separate times. “When they went to the small lineup coach wanted us to get out of there so we didn’t get into foul trouble” Gill said after the game.
The Bluejays led the rebound battle for the majority of the first half but after the full 20 minutes the Hall led on the glass 24 - 20. These were two teams that could score with both teams averaging above 70 points per game. For the Pirates, a lot of that scoring comes from the Wooden award hopeful, Myles Powell.
Powell did not see his usual production in the first half but the Pirates got a lift from a different Myles. Junior guard Myles Cale has not been the most consistent player for the Pirates this season but his abilities were on display in the first half. Cale had seven points in the first half including a dunk that energized the whole crowd.
Quincy McKnight did well in the first half leading all scorers with ten points and shot 50 percent from behind the arc. The Pirates struggled from three throughout and did not take advantage of the height they had inside. The Pirates found themselves at the end of the first half down 41 - 39 following a Marcus Zegarowski mid-range buzzer beater.
The Bluejays and the Pirates continued to trade blows in the second half. Almost every basket had an answer. No team could extend their lead more than six points. Both teams had foul trouble but it was most evident when Sandro Mamukelashvili fouled out with 5:29 left to go in the half. Mamukelashvili still finished second in scoring for the Pirates with 13 points.
The balanced Creighton attacked proved to be too much for the Pirates down the stretch. Five Bluejays finished with double figures. Gill was able to cut the game to one with 1:13 to go and the Pirates had life. On the next possession Denzel Mahoney hit an open three.
The Pirates still had a chance up until the final seconds of the game. Jared Rhoden converted an and-1 to make the score 81 - 79 with 15 seconds to go. The Bluejays inbounded the ball to Ty-Shon Alexander along the sideline. A whistle was called with many of the Pirate faithful believing Alexander stepped out of bounds.
There was foul called on Shavar Reynolds which is believed to have come before Alexander stepped out of bounds. The referees did not review the play prior to Alexander going to the line.
The Pirates still had a chance to win only down four with 14 seconds to go. Powell could not connect from three as the ball fell to the hands of the Bluejays. Powell finished the game 1-11 from three and 12 points. “He’s gonna have a game like this but we just gotta bounce back like we always do,” McKnight said after leading the Pirates with 20 points.
After the game head coach Kevin Willard revealed to the press that many players had complications with illness. He said, “Just start naming players.”
Willard illustrated how both Jared Rhoden and Tyrese Samuel missed practice time due to the flu. Darnell Brodie had to be hospitalized because he was showing symptoms of mono. Mamukelashvili and Taurean Thompson also battled flu-like symptoms. “We just gotta focus, regroup so we can beat Providence on the road Saturday,” said Gill.
The Pirates will be back in action against Providence on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Christian Gardner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.