Recap: Pirates Squeeze Out Third-Straight Victory in 71-67 Win Against DePaulDate: January 14, 2023
By: Nate Taylor
The Seton Hall Pirates (11-8, 4-4 CONF) secured their third win in-a-row in a nail-biter victory against the DePaul Blue Demons (8-10, 2-5 CONF) thanks to some clutch free throws and rebounding. KC Ndefo and Al-Amir Dawes led the way as the game’s two top scorers, combining for 31.
Al-Amir Dawes started off the game red hot, as he shot 3-for-3 from downtown in the first half. He and Ndefo lead in scoring at the half with nine each. He added four big points from the charity stripe as he was perfect from the line, finishing the game with 15 points.
At the half, both teams were shooting above 50% from the field, but both ended the contest shooting below that mark. The game tightened up much more in the second half as fans saw 11 lead changes and 11 ties throughout the course of the 40 minutes.
The Pirates’ defense was really on display in the second half, forcing a talented shooting team into tough shots. Javan Johnson, who was 31st in the country in three-point percentage coming into the matchup, shot just 20% from range.
Coach Shaheen Holloway has always been adamant about his team’s defense, as he said during a timeout, “We’re getting points off our defense, it’s what we do!” His players clearly received the message as they forced 15 turnovers scoring 18 points off of them. Seton Hall outscored DePaul by double in the paint, 40-20.
After being tied at half, the Pirates came out of the locker room ready to go as they established a lead for themselves. Every time they made a push however, the Blue Demons came right back, most of the time with a three as they made nine to Seton Hall’s four.
Seton Hall did not make a three in the second half, and despite a higher field goal percentage, DePaul kept the game close by hitting three of their own threes in the second. They outscored the Pirates 9-0 from beyond the arch in half number two.
The Pirates went flat as they hit just one of their final eight shot attempts and did not make a single shot in the last 4:48.
With 47 seconds left on the clock, Javan Johnson hit one of his two made threes on the game to cut the Pirate’s lead to one, making it 68-67. Offensive rebounding, which is usually a struggle for the Hall would come up huge.
Ndefo would miss a layup the next possession, but Femi Odukale corralled the rebound and was fouled to have a chance to extend the lead to three. After making the first, Odukale missed the next shot to keep it a two-point game.
Ndefo grabbed the offensive rebound for his 12th board of the game to go along with a game-high 16 points for a double-double. Dawes went on to hit two free throws to put away the Blue Demons. The Pirates walked off with their third straight win in Big East conference play.
They’ll look to push the streak to four on Wednesday at the Prudential Center, when they take on the No. 6 UConn Huskies. Coverage on WSOU 89.5 FM will begin at 6:00 p.m., before tipoff at 6:30 with Joe Matthews and Ryan Johnston on the call.
Nate Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.