No.8 Seton Hall falls short of the outright Big East title in season finale loss to Creighton, 77-60Date: March 7, 2020
By: Liam Plate
It’s official. The Seton Hall Pirates (21-9 overall, 13-5 conference) are the 2019-20 Big East regular season Co-Champions. After their 77-60 loss to Creighton (24-7 overall, 13-5 conference) on Saturday, they will share the title with the Bluejays and the Villanova Wildcats (24-7 overall 13-5 conference).
In the Big East Tournament next week, Creighton will be the one seed, the Wildcats will take the two seed, and Seton Hall will fall from leading the way to be the three seed.
The score does not reflect the way the game was played. This one was very close from the start with the first half ending in a tie at 32. The scoring attacks for both teams were very different for each team in the first half. The Pirates’ attack was very spread out as no one scored double digits. Myles Powell, Quincy McKnight, and Sandro Mamukelashvili each had seven points for the Hall.
On the other side, Creighton was led by Marcus Zegarwoski with 15 points in the first half and he continued to dominate throughout the rest of the game. Both teams shot well from the field, but it was the three-point shooting for the Bluejays that kept them in the game.
Seton Hall did an effective job of attacking the basket and finishing their lay ups, but it was their defense once again that allowed Creighton to stay in the game as the Pirates did not do a good enough job protecting the three-point line. One thing the Pirates defense did do well is that they were able to limit Ty-Shon Alexander to only five points and essentially take him out of the first half.
The second half was a completely different story and was all Creighton. Once again, the Bluejays were lighting it up from behind the three-point line and the Pirates were giving them all the open shots they could get. The Bluejays shot 64.3% from beyond the arc as Zegarowski, Alexander, and Mitch Ballock each sunk two from downtown.
Seton Hall’s defense was not in sync throughout the second half, which led to many scoring opportunities for Creighton that they took advantage of.
On the offensive side for the Pirates, they kept it close for a little but could not get anything going. No Seton Hall player scored in double digits and the Pirates continued to drive to the basket, but they just could not finish. They also struggled draw fouls and get to the free throw line as the Hall only shot four free throws in the entire half.
The Pirates went up 50-47 with 9:21 left to play in the game. But after that it was all Creighton. The Bluejays scored 30 points on their next 13 possesions after that point and blew the Pirates out of the water.
Creighton is an incredible shooting team and when they are shooting the way they shot Saturday afternoon, they are almost unstoppable. Even though Creighton is that good at shooting, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Seton Hall needs to improve on their help defense and communication on defense for the Big East Tournament next week.
Say what you will about Seton Hall losing two in a row and failing to win the title outright after having two chances to do so, but this is a team that faced a lot of adversity throughout the season and still ended up as one of the tops teams in the most competitive conference in college basketball. The real tests are coming up as they head to the Big East and NCAA Tournaments.
The Pirates are scheduled to play their first game of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Mar. 12 at 9:30 p.m. 89.5 FM WSOU will have all the coverage you need of that quarterfinal game starting at 9:00 p.m.
Liam Plate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.