Pirates sweep opening weekend
This weekend, a late second half rally on Sunday and a last second shot on Friday have resulted in the Pirates opening their season 2-0.
Going into Sunday’s game the Pirates were facing a Monomuth Hawks team coming off of a 99-70 upset win against Florida International University. The Hall was trying to extend their 10 game undefeated streak against Monmouth.
Early in the first half, the Hawks and Pirates kept exchanging points. After a few scoreless minutes junior guard Jamel Jackson hit a pair of three pointers, and the Pirates were able to go on a 9-2 run.
Monmouth answered with a 10-2 run and Seton Hall was trailing late in the first half, 25-21.
The Pirates then went on a key 18-2 run. The run ended with a three pointer at the buzzer by junior guard Jeremy Hazell to give the Pirates the 41-29 advantage going into the half.
The Hall started the second half by going on a short 6-2 run before Hawks’ forward Ed Waite hit back-to-back three-pointers to cut the Pirates’ lead down to 52-42.
Seton Hall was able to answer and bring their lead to 16, with the help of an alley-oop from senior guard Eugene Harvey to Hazell.
Seton Hall went on to win the game 87-72.
Hazell led the team with 26 points, after scoring a career low two on Friday, while sophomore forward Herb Pope had 15 of his own, and a game high 17 rebounds.
On Friday in the team’s season opener, the Pirates were able to come away with a close victory.
With 3.6 seconds left on the clock the Hall was on the verge of beginning their season with a loss for the first time in over ten years.
The final play of the game began with senior center John Garcia. He inbounded the ball from the far side of the court to Pope who was waiting on the left side of the court. Pope then passed the ball to Harvey who hit a three pointer as time expired.
“The specific play I took from Jay Wright (Villanova men’s basketball head coach) and switched it to the left side,” head coach Bobby Gonzalez said.
Sophomore guard Jordan Theodore, got the start over Harvey.
“Jordan is playing so good,” head coach Bobby Gonzalez said. “I thought he’d help us get off to a fast start.”
In the first half, both teams were going back and forth. Jackson helped the Hall extend their lead to 15-11 with a deep three pointer early in the first half.
For almost the next six and a half minutes Seton Hall was held scoreless.
The Pirates came out in the next half trailing by five. Early on they were having trouble scoring and getting rebounds. They finished the game with 35 rebounds, compared to 43 from St. Peter’s.
“I didn’t think we would have a problem getting boards, it was never a thought on my part,” Gonzalez said. “The game turned into a dogfight because we weren’t getting boards.”
Going in to the last two minutes of play, Nick Leon of St. Peter’s hit both shots at the free throw line to give his team the 47-45 lead.
Mitchell’s layup with 22 seconds gave the Pirates a 50-49 lead. This helped lead to Harvey’s game winning shot as time expired.
“We were supposed to win by double figures, they deserve a lot of credit,” Gonzalez said. “You feel a lot better when you win a game like this rather than lose it.”
The Pirates play next on Friday, when the head to Ithaca, N.Y. to play Cornell.
Nicholas Parco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org