Pirates win second straight, beat Marquette 85-72
The Seton Hall Pirates won their second straight game over a potential NCAA Tournament team, with a 85-72 victory over Marquette on Senior Night this Saturday.
“This is what I imagined this team would be after the Alabama game,” head coach Kevin Willard said.
All four Pirate seniors, Jeremy Hazell, Jeff Robinson, Eniel Polynice and Darnell Gatling were honored prior to the games 6 p.m. tip off, and each was given the start.
“It was emotional. I think I was more teary eyed than Jeff (Robinson) was when he lifted up his poster,” junior Herb Pope said “I’ve known him since high school and then to see our careers come to an end now and not be in the position where we want to be in. now we’re just trying to leave it out there.”
With the festivities behind them, the Pirates continued their hot three point shooting in the early going. Robinson was 3-3 from beyond the arc in the first half, before foul trouble kept him on the bench for a large portion of the win. He finished with 10 points.
“It was awesome,” Robinson said. “The crowd was into it we were juiced, we were pumped. Very emotionally start to the game but it got us prepared for this battle.”
The Hall shot 57 percent from deep range, with Hazell adding four and freshman Patrik Auda adding three of their own.
Hazell, who gave his signature salute to the 8300 fans when he was announced as a starter, finished with 21 points.
“This was a great atmosphere for me,” Hazell said. “It was a great moment. i won’t forget this night. I’m just glad we got the win.”
Auda, who came off the bench when both Robinson and fellow freshman Aaron Geramipoor got into early foul trouble, played one of his best games in his career.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it that much,” Auda said. “Coach tells me all the time that when I am open to shoot the ball. in the games before, I didn’t do it that much. I’m glad the shot went in.”
He finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
“That’s what we’ve expected from Pat all year,” Willard said. “When Jeremy Hazell got hurt, Fu (freshman Fuquan Edwin) had the ability to step in. Pat plays hard. He’s been playing out of position. This is what we’ve expected out of him all year.”
Junior Herb Pope finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Though there is some question as to whether or not he will return for his senior season, Pope remains firm with his decision to stay next year.
“I’m coming back,” Pope said. “I’ve been saying that. I’m trying to graduate now. Next year we are going to try and get it to the next level.”
The Pirates will now get ready for a rubber game with Rutgers in the opening round of the Big East Tournament on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.
Tim LeCras can be reached at email@example.com.