Seton Hall downs Saint Louis 83-66, Behind Aggressive OffenseDate: November 17, 2019
By: Justin Morris
The Seton Hall men’s basketball team looked to be on a mission to avenge their heartbreaking three-point loss against Michigan State Thursday from the outset of their matchup with Saint Louis on Sunday.
It was exactly a year ago to the day that the Pirates fell to the Bilikens 66-64 in the only matchup they had played thus far, and with just one player absent from that 2018 squad, revenge against this team specifically was also fresh in the minds of their players. They established and cemented their top-15 nationwide ranking early; the mindset to dominate clearly in the gameplan from coach Willard, in hopes of a potential top-10 placing upon next week’s AP poll release.
They got out to a blistering pace, starting off with a scorching 12-3 run before extending that lead to 20-6 by the first media timeout, all the while spreading their scoring evenly and getting contributions at the basket from five different Pirates. Myles Powell began the game slowly after the Bilikens flooded him with double-teams, utilizing the same 1-3-1 zone that effectively slowed him down last year. Willard commented on last year’s game, stating “I hadn’t seen a box-and-one since grade school. I had to go watch film after film because I knew we’d see it again.”
He drew up a play that gave Powell a quick three pointer off of a screen around the 10-minute mark in the first half, and that was all he needed to get going. Before Saint Louis knew it, Powell was up to 14 by halftime. He finished the game as the Pirates’ leading scorer per usual, heading them with 26 points, while going 4/11 from three-point range and adding an impressive 10-12 mark from the charity stripe.
The second half saw more of the same from the Hall collectively. They say basketball is a game of runs, and much to the Pirates’ satisfaction, most of the game’s runs went in their favor. They began the second half by stretching a 46-31 lead to over a 20-point margin, going 7-0 to make the score 53-31. Huge defensive play from McKnight and lengthy Jared Rhoden held Saint Louis scoreless for over seven minutes at one point, and the Hall was able to blow the game open, eventually enjoying their largest lead at 70-41, and pulling out the win, 83-66.
The largest statistical margins came from the free throw line and on the glass. The Pirates outshot Saint Louis 81-56 percent from the line, while their massive height difference allowed them to comfortably outrebound the Bilikens 46-38. They also spread the ball around far more effectively, edging Saint Louis in assists 18-10.
Height was an obvious advantage, but two of their tallest big men found themselves in foul trouble early, and Romaro Gill and Ike Obiagu would both foul out in the game’s closing minutes, an issue that Willard will surely address moving forward. Sandro Mamukelashvili was second on the Pirates in scoring with 17.
The Hall will get almost a week off for taking on Florida A&M back at the Prudential Center Saturday, November 23 at 12 p.m.
Justin Morris can be reached at email@example.com.