A short bench continues to hamper the Seton Hall men’s basketball team as the Pirates lost to No. 3 Louisville 73-58, Wednesday night. The loss drops the Hall’s record to 12-4 on the season and 1-2 in the Big East.
With only eight players seeing playing time and six getting more than 12 minutes on the court, fatigue became a major problem for the Hall.
“We were gassed,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “That is where injuries have hurt us and taken a toll on us.”
With 12:53 remaining, junior Fuquan Edwin picked a good time to make his first basket of the night with a game tying 3-pointer to knot the score at 42-42. However, after that basket Louisville went on a 12-2 run to put away the Hall.
“Right after that it went downhill,” Edwin said. “We started missing some shots and they started making some shots and they pulled away.”
Junior Eugene Teague collected his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds while playing 33 minutes.
“It’s tough,” Teague said of the Pirates’ thin frontcourt. “When teams are deep they are able to rotate those fresh bodies. We just need everybody back especially against a team like (Louisville), with that much depth.”
One area the Hall did show improvement was the ability to break the Cardinals press. Earlier in the season against LSU the Pirates committed 26 turnovers but tonight only turned the ball over 16 times despite Louisville pressing for most of the second half.
“We have been working on how to break the press,” freshman Tom Maayan said. “We did a pretty good job of (breaking the press) and we didn’t turn the ball over too much. Still not good enough we wanted to get that win.”
Four players for the Pirates combined to score 56 of the team’s 58 points with sophomore Brandon Mobley leading the way with 18 points. Edwin had 13 points and sophomore Aaron Cosby added 11.
The game saw the score tied six time and four different lead changes but the last time the Pirates were ahead was with 9:23 remaining in the first half and the score 17-16.
“Louisville is a great team and just picked up their defense a little more and pressuring us,” Edwin said of the Pirates inability to take the lead. “Our bench isn’t that strong right now and we started wearing off.”
While Aaron Geramipoor dressed for the game against the Cardinals, he did not play and his status remains questionable for the Hall’s next game against Providence at the Prudential Center on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. If Geramipoor does play he will be a fourth option for Willard in the frontcourt with junior Brian Oliver still out with a sprained ankle.
“It’s going to lighten up,” Teague said of the Pirates schedule. “We had a rough start but we are going to keep playing hard trying to win games.”
Stephen Valenti can be reached at Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org