Recap: Pirates Complete the Comeback in Magical 67-66 Win Over Huskies

Date: January 19, 2023

By: John Makuch

Shaheen Holloway hyping up the crowd after a fantastic win.

Kayla Fonseca/WSOU

The Seton Hall Pirates (12-8, 5-4) pulled off a Prudential miracle against the UConn Huskies (15-5, 4-5) completing a 17-point comeback to take down the No. 15 team in the nation 67-66.

The final result is not what one would have expected after the first half in which UConn won 40-26. Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins both performed well in the first 20 minutes for the Huskies, putting up 10 points and nine points respectively.

Being down by 14 at halftime is a tall task for any team, especially against a UConn squad that was shooting efficiently from behind the arc with a 46.7% shooting percentage.

However, this Seton Hall team found a way to rally, and the charge was led by the scoring effort of Kadary Richmond, and the overall game of KC Ndefo and Tyrese Samuel.

Ndefo started things off for The Hall in the second half with an offensive rebound leading to an and-one to cut the lead to 11. This would foreshadow how he would eventually win the game for Seton Hall.

Al-Amir Dawes also made some clutch baskets in the half, two key ones being a steal leading to a fastbreak layup to cut the lead to single digits, and a three-pointer to bring the crowd back into this matchup.

In terms of the crowd coming to life, at the 14:19 mark, KC Ndefo rose to the peak of The Rock and put in a monstrous dunk that made the Prudential Center the loudest it had been in quite some time.

KC Ndefo had a total performance that was one of his best all season with 14 points off 6 of 8 shooting with eight rebounds and two blocks, which Coach Holloway was happy about, but not surprised.

“His deflections, his energy, his putback dunk, he did the things I’ve seen him do for the last four years,” Holloway said.

Ndefo’s teammate, Richmond, also spoke highly of the St. Peter’s transfer, saying  “We’ve been seeing it every day in practice since he got here, so it just becomes second nature.”

The next score of the game was two technical free throws by UConn after a technical foul on head coach Shaheen Holloway. Those sorts of free points for teams can take the air out of an arena and allow a team like the Huskies to gather a lead, however, the Pirates did not falter.

UConn got out to a bit of a lead afterward, but The Hall managed to stick around, and they shined in the game’s final minutes.

Femi Odukale put in a dunk that seemed to bring even more energy than the Ndefo dunk, with a slam over Sanogo to keep the Pirates within one with two minutes to go.

Richmond would then knock down a jumper to give Seton Hall one of its only leads of the night, to which UConn took the lead right back after two free throws.

The game did not see another score until just one second left in the game, and that score was one to remember.

Richmond kicked it out to Femi Odukale who took a shot with just a few seconds left to try to win the game for Seton Hall, but it went off the front of the rim.

However, it went right into the hands of Ndefo who put it right back up made the shot through contact to seal the deal for the Pirates.

This win now puts Seton Hall in a position where they can put a solid resume together in terms of their wins, with quality victories over Rutgers, Memphis, and now UConn.

This was a game that showed the guts of this team, and the motivation factor that Holloway brings to the table. Only great coaches could have brought this team to not be discouraged and bring the squad to believe that they could get it done.

The Pirates have an equally important game on Saturday against the Marquette Golden Eagles at The Prudential Center, and that is a game that Seton Hall fans will not want to miss out on.

Coverage on WSOU 89.5 FM starts at 3:30 p.m. before tipoff at 4:00.

John Makuch is the News Director at WSOU and can be reached at

Posted in: Sports, Men's Basketball

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