At high noon on Superbowl Sunday in Philadelphia, the Seton Hall Pirates suffered their sixth loss of the season. The #1 ranked Villanova Wildcats ran away from SHU down the stretch 92-76, but there were many positive takeaways from the game that I believe should be noted.
First, the Pirates fought hard throughout, more than holding their own against a team that could potentially win the national championship. They were neck and neck with the Wildcats well into the second half. In fact, after Myles Powell drilled a three-pointer with just over nine minutes remaining, the Pirates were only down 62-60. It was then however that the Wildcats put the pedal to the metal, outscoring the Hall 30-16 the rest of the way to seal the deal.
Photo: FanRag Sports
I’d like to acknowledge a few players who had solid performances and were key contributors in keeping the game close most of the way. Ismael Sanogo, from a defensive standpoint was superb. The man was all over the floor, blocking shots, and playing lockdown defense. Watching him go after future NBA player, Mikal Bridges was awesome. Hey Ish: “keep on grinding and providing top level defense!”
In addition to Sanogo, the big fella (Big East all time leading rebounder), Angel Delgado did his thing (18 and 9). The reason he “only” had 9 boards was that Nova has some big bodied players of their own, namely Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall. Spellman, a much ballyhooed redshirt freshman, burned the Pirates for 26 points and 11 rebounds. Interestingly, 18 of his points came on 6-7 shooting from beyond the arc. He smartly would lure Angel out on the perimeter, where he is not a good defender, and drop a “3” on him. Jay Wright took advantage of Spellman’s ability to shoot the ball from range, but I don’t think Seton Hall went to Delgado’s strength on the other end, his back to the basket game. I would like to have seen him get more touches on the block where Spellman could have picked up some fouls.
Photo: NBC Sports
Lastly, Myles Powell was by far my favorite player of the game. I really have high expectations for this man for the next two years. Although he finished with 17 points, what intrigues me the most is how dangerous of a shooter he is. When on his game, Powell has the confidence and ability to pull up from almost anywhere. Quite frankly, his three point shooting in the 2nd half kept the Pirates in the game. Can he consistently knock down triples and become the 4th scorer on this team? If so, the Pirates will be that more dangerous heading into the Big East Tournament and March Madness.
The Hall is now 3-2 against AP Top 25 teams this season which looks fairly good on their resume. Next up is a home game with Marquette, who many Pirates fans remember dominated Seton Hall in Wisconsin a few weeks back. So, while Kevin Willard’s team has revenge on their minds, the Golden Eagles come in a desperate team.
Photo: The New York Times
They are 13-10 overall, but just 4-7 in the conference. Losers of four straight, I’m sure coach Steve Wojciechowski will have his squad primed for an upset to keep their season from circling the drain. Tipoff for this one is 7PM Wednesday night at The Prudential Center in Newark.
Feature Photo: New York Post