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Preview: Pirates look for 4th straight win as they host DePaul

Date: February 16, 2021

By: Joe Matthews

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Seton Hall Athletics

A late Wednesday night matchup will see the Seton Hall Pirates face off against the DePaul Blue Demons. The two teams will duke it out in a rematch of a Jan. 9 contest that saw the Pirates win 76-68. Seton Hall will look to repeat that performance as they enter the home stretch of the season. The Pirates enter Wednesday’s contest coming off a 57-51 win against Marquette.

 

Things have been looking up for the Pirates recently. They’re riding a three-game win streak and have jumped up to third in the Big East. They look to currently be in the NCAA tournament picture, and a strong finish to the season will only strengthen their resume, and possibly bump them up a few seeds.

 

The same can’t exactly be said for DePaul. The Blue Demons are currently on a four-game losing skid and have only picked up one in-conference win so far this year. Their latest outing saw them fall to Providence by a score of 57-47. In what has been a rough year for DePaul, they rank tenth in the conference in scoring, and have the worst team FG% and 3-point FG%.

However what DePaul lacks in scoring, they’ve been making up with rebounding. They are averaging 38.1 rebounds-per-game, good for third in the Big East. They’re also second in the conference in offensive rebounds-per-game, with 12.5. They have a big advantage over the Pirates in both of those categories, as Seton Hall ranks ninth in the conference in each. A big key for Sandro Mamukelashvili and Ike Obiagu will be keeping DePaul off of the glass and preventing second-chance points.

 

Speaking of Mamu, look for him to kick it into another gear and finish the season strong. He’s begun getting heavy looks in NBA mock drafts, and a dominant final stretch to his college career could not only bump him further up draft boards but land him on an All-American team.

Another Pirate to look out for is Jared Rhoden. The Junior is coming off of a 20-point, seven-rebound performance in the game against Marquette. Rhoden is now averaging nearly 15 points-per-game on the season and continues to be a reliable option for the Pirates.

 

On DePaul’s side, they should be led by senior guard Charlie Moore. He leads the Blue Demons in both points-per-game, and assists-per-game, with 13.7 and 4.1, respectively. Moore has also scored at least 21 points in two of his last three outings. However, Moore missed the previous outing against Providence with a knee injury and remains questionable for the matchup against Seton Hall. It would certainly be a big blow to the Blue Demons if he can’t suit up.

Kevin Willard’s squad has been playing some very solid defense as of late, and so long as they keep up that solid play, they have a good shot to come away with a win. However, a trap game could always be in the cards, as the Blue Demons would certainly love to play spoiler to a Seton Hall team that has their eyes on the NCAA tourney. Tune in to 89.5 FM WSOU for coverage from the outstanding duo of Ronny Castaneda and Michael Daly. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m., with pre-game coverage beforehand.

Joe Matthews can be reached at joseph.matthews@student.shu.edu.

Posted in: Game Previews, Men's Basketball, Sports

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