The Seton Hall Pirates were back in action at the Prudential Center today as they took on the #5 Xavier Musketeers. Before the game we spoke with Shannon Russell of The Cincinnati Enquirer. She is a great journalist and everyone should go check out her work! Her responses to our questions can be found in our previous post. The Pirates firmly entrenched themselves in the NCAA tournament field by dispatching Xavier by a score of 90-81.
The Pirates scored the first basket of the game on a layup from Desi Rodriguez. This is significant because the Pirates would lead from this point forward. It was a wire to wire win for the Hall. The Pirates would score the first 9 points in the game. The Musketeers would come back and cut the lead to 3 with 16:16 remaining on a James Farr layup. The Pirates would trade baskets for a few minutes with Xavier. Then, the Pirates made a big run and after two Ismael Sanogo free throws, the Pirates would lead by 19. At halftime, the Pirates led 45-26.
The Musketeers were led by James Farr in the first half with 11 points and 4 rebounds. Trevon Bluiett added 5 points and 2 assists. Edmond Sumner had 2 assists and Larry Austin Jr. had 3 rebounds. Xavier shot 27% from the field and 16.7% from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Pirates were led by Desi Rodriguez with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Angel Delgado led the team in points with 13 in the first half. Derrick Gordon added 8 points and 4 rebounds. Ismael Sanogo chipped in 5 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Isaiah Whitehead posted 7 points and dished out 3 assists. Seton Hall shot 53.3% from the field and 16.7% from beyond the arc in the first half.
Xavier came out with some energy to start the second half. Trevon Bluiett cut the lead to 14 with 15:47 to go. The Pirates would answer though and increase the lead to 20 on a Michael Nzei layup with 10:10 to go in the second half. The Musketeers would not go away and a Jalen Reynolds free throw would get Xavier within 11 with 3:24 remaining. The two teams would trade baskets and Xavier would eventually cut the lead down to 9 with 21 seconds remaining. The Pirates would go on to win by a score of 90-81. The Pirates earned a victory over a top 5 team for the first time since 2004.
The Musketeers were led by James Farr with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Trevon Bluiett added 17 points and 5 rebounds. Myles Davis chipped in 15 points and dished out 5 assists. The Musketeers shot 39% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc.
The Pirates were led by Desi Rodriguez who scored a career high 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Angel Delgado added 17 points and 8 rebounds. Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 22 points and dished out 5 assists. Ismael Sanogo was second on the team with 9 rebounds. Senior Derrick Gordon added 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. The Pirates shot 50% from the field and 35.7% from beyond the arc.
With the loss the Musketeers fall to 25-4 on the season and 13-4 in Big East play. With the victory the Pirates improve to 21-7 overall and 11-5 in Big East play. Xavier will now head home to Cincinnati to take on the Creighton Blue Jays in the final game of their regular season on Saturday. The Pirates will head to Indianapolis on Wednesday to take on the Butler Bulldogs.
Before the Butler game we will chat with our friend Marisa Miller. Make sure to check out Shannon Russell on twitter @slrussell. We would like to give her a huge thank you! Check out the PPI below to see which players excelled. Get ready to go dancing Pirate fans, soak it up and enjoy it. We will have full coverage of the Butler game on Wednesday. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.