Put On Your Dancing Shoes

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.

PPI vs Xavier (2)

Inside the Enemy Ship: Xavier Musketeers

Welcome to another edition of Inside the Enemy Ship! We spoke to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer who is a tremendous journalist. Give her a follow on twitter @slrussell. Here are her responses to our questions:

BBA: Xavier is coming off of a big win over the Villanova, do you think there is a chance of a letdown in this game?

Russell: Perhaps, but it’s doubtful. Xavier players have been pretty unflappable this season, meaning they haven’t been swayed by their highest highs or lowest lows. They approach each game in a very business-like manner, and they know how big of a challenge Seton Hall is.

BBA: Xavier has an impressive resume. Do you believe they will be a #1 seed when all is said and done?

Russell: I think Xavier would have to win out the Big East tournament for the No. 1 seed. They took a step forward with Wednesday’s defeat of Villanova. If they met and defeated the Wildcats in the conference tournament final, then I think they would land a top seed.

BBA: Do you believe Isaiah Whitehead deserves some attention for Big East player of the year?

Russell: Isaiah Whitehead certainly is one of the best players in the league and in my opinion a contender. His play in the last five to six games, plus his importance to the Pirates, makes him immensely valuable. That said, the player of the year likely will come from a league-leading team and I wouldn’t count out Kris Dunn of Providence, either.

BBA: Is Xavier at its best when it is in its 1-3-1 zone?

Russell: Xavier is at its best when it plays man-to-man defense. That’s its bread and butter. The 1-3-1 is a curveball the Musketeers use and it has been immensely effective in spurts. But the 1-3-1 at times wears out its welcome and teams facing XU a second time in league play tend to find seams against it.

BBA: What player should Seton Hall be most concerned about facing on Sunday?

Russell: Xavier’s balance makes it difficult to pinpoint one person. Trevon Bluiett leads the team in scoring but Edmond Sumner, J.P. Macura and Jalen Reynolds have been playing very well lately. James Farr had 24 points and 15 rebounds last time out against Seton Hall, so he perhaps is a focal point heading into the rematch.

BBA: What do you think is Xavier’s ceiling, final four, elite eight?

Russell: Hard to say. The ultimate goal is a Final Four but if this team keeps playing as well as it has been lately, there’s no ceiling.

BBA: Final Score Prediction?

Russell: Xavier, 78-68

We would again like to extend a big thank you to Shannon Russell. She is a must follow on twitter and provide a vast amount of information. We will have full coverage of the Xavier game tomorrow. Game time is 12:30 p.m and can be found on FS1. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.

 

 

Shot Down in Cincinnati

Photo Provided Courtesy Of Madeline Wilson

The Seton Hall Pirates were back in action today at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio to take on the Xavier Musketeers. Before the game we had the privilege of having Shannon Russell from The Cincinnati Enquirer answer some of our questions. She is a great journalist and can be found on twitter @slrussell. Her answers can be found in our previous post and we want to thank her for all of her terrific insight. The Pirates would ultimately be handed an 84-76 defeat.

The first half started with the Pirates leading for the first few minutes of the game. Isaiah Whitehead kicked off the scoring with a three pointer and from there the Pirates would hold the lead until the 14:01 mark of the first half. From there the two teams would exchange leads for much of the half. With 5:55 remaining in the first half, J.P. Macura would knock down a three pointer and give the Musketeers a 6 point lead. The Pirates would eventually trim the lead down and ultimately take the lead with 2:28 left in the half. The Musketeers would ultimately retake the lead and go into halftime with a 40-36 lead.

The Musketeers were led in the first half by James Farr with 10 points and 8 rebounds. Myles Davis hit 2 three pointers and tallied 8 points in the first half. J.P. Macura chipped in 7 points and Edmond Sumner dished out 3 assists.

The Pirates were led by Desi Rodriguez in the first half with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Ismael Sanogo tied Rodriguez for the lead in rebounds with 6 boards in the first half. Isaiah Whitehead, Khadeen Carrington, and Derrick Gordon each had 5 points in the first half. Derrick Gordon also grabbed 5 boards.

Xavier came out hot to start the second half. A dunk from Edmond Sumner and a bucket from James Farr increased the Musketeer lead to 9. The Pirates would fight back and cut the lead to 1 with 15:57 to go in the second half. Xavier had an answer for the Pirates though. The Musketeers would build a lead as large as 15. The Musketeers would protect that lead throughout the second half. The second half didn’t feel very close, and Xavier would cruise to an 84-76 victory over Seton Hall.

The Musketeers were led by James Farr. Farr was an animal this afternoon. He posted 24 points and 15 rebounds. He continuously gave Angel Delgado, Michael Nzei, and Ismael Sanogo fits down low. Trevon Bluiett added 15 points and 5 rebounds. Edmond Sumner chipped in 13 points and 4 assists. Myles Davis led the Musketeers with 5 assists. Xavier held the Pirates to just 22.2% from beyond the arc.

The Pirates were led by Desi Rodriguez with 21 points and 8 rebounds. The 21 points are a career high for Desi Rodriguez. Ismael Sanogo also grabbed 8 rebounds for the Pirates. Khadeen Carrington posted 19 points, and Isaiah Whitehead added 17. Angel Deglado grabbed 7 rebounds, and Derrick Gordon added 6. Whitehead led the Pirates with 5 assists.

With the victory the Musketeers improve to 17-2 on the season and 5-2 in Big East play. With the loss the Pirates fall to 13-6 overall and 3-4 in the Big East. Xavier will now head to Providence to take on the Friars on Tuesday night. The Pirates will return home to the Prudential Center to take on St. John’s on Wednesday night.

We would like to thank Shannon Russell for all of her help. She is a great follow on twitter, and is an incredibly talented journalist. Check out the PPI to see which Pirates stood out today. We will have full coverage of the St. John’s game on Wednesday. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.

PPI vs Xavier