It was a rough night for Seton Hall and its fans. The Pirates went into this contest desperate for a win after losing three of their previous four games. Only three games were left, including this one before the Big East Tournament. Since this was against a conference rival, the game held more weight in determining the Hall’s seeding in the tournament. However, the game ended in a disaster for them, as the Pirates lost to #16 Xavier with a final score of 82-60.
A Disappointing Start
It was a brutal first half for the Pirates. The Hall shot 26% (8-31 FG) from the field and 11% (1-9) from three-point range. The team wouldn’t make a single three-pointer until there were two minutes left in the half. Freshman Jaquan Sanders made the first and only three for Seton Hall in the half. Sanders, who receives minutes sparingly, was one of the few bright spots for the team. By halftime, they were down 21-40 and could not keep up with the Musketeers.
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The Missing Presence
The absence of the Kadary Richmond was heavily felt by Seton Hall. Coach Shaheen Holloway opted to start Jamir Harris in place of the injured Richmond. The 6’2 Harris is a bit undersized compared to the 6’6 Richmond. Ultimately, no one could replace Kadary’s scoring (10.1 PPG) and playmaking (4.1 APG).
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A Game of Runs
Seton Hall started the second half strong with a 12-1 scoring run. They cut Xavier’s 19-point lead to just eight points. Their defense shined as they forced multiple turnovers. However, XAV followed up with their own 12-0 scoring run to bury Seton Hall’s momentum. The Pirates eventually went on a 10-0 scoring run, but it wouldn’t be enough. Whenever the Hall made a run, the Musketeers would always respond with a run of their own.
Holloway recognizes this and its impact on the game. “We’re battling. We’re just coming up short. We got to stop letting teams get these runs on us. Teams get these runs on us. We fight hard to battle back, and we run out of gas”, Holloway said.
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A Balanced Attack
Xavier remained in firm control of the game from the middle of the second half to the end. The team had a completely balanced offense. Souley Boum led the charge with 23 points (8-13 FG). Colby Jones was not far behind with 19 points (5-10 FG). Adam Kunkel had 13 points (4-8 FG) and Jerome Hunter scored 12 points (5-10 FG).
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Cold Night for the Pirates
In comparison to XAV’s four starters with double-digit points, Seton Hall’s starters were cold. None of them scored in double figures. Al-Amir Dawes had a rough shooting night with only three points (1-10 FG) to his name. The team collectively shot 39% (22-57 FG) from the field and 25% (5-20 FG) from the three-point line. Nevertheless, there were two bright spots in this defeat. Sanders scored 11 points (4-6 FG) and Dre Davis scored 13 points (5-8 FG) off the bench.
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That’s All She Wrote
With this victory, Xavier has swept the Pirates for the first time since the 2017-18 season. Seton Hall will need to shake off this loss and prepare for another tough conference matchup against Villanova on Tuesday. The team will undoubtedly be hoping for Kadary Richmond, who is day-to-day, to return from his back injury. The Hall will need their starters to play their best as the Big East Tournament approaches.
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