Turnovers, rebounding cause Seton Hall loss to Providence
The men’s basketball team lost, 67-55, to the Providence Friars on Sunday afternoon, the team’s third consecutive loss in conference play.
The Pirates (12-5, 1-3 Big East) struggled taking care of the ball in the first half, where the Friars forced the Pirates into 15 turnovers.
“They came out and were playing aggressively and got us on our heels a little bit and we didn’t do it back to them,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “If you turn the ball over 15 times in a half, you’re going to leave yourself some pretty big holes.”
The biggest difference in the game was the offensive rebounding from the Friars. The team shot 22-61, which is good for 36.1 percent from the floor, 27.8 percent from beyond the arc and 62.1 percent from the free throw line.
Of the 39 missed shots by the Friars, Providence rebounded 22 of them. That means that 56.4 percent of their misses were rebounded. The Pirates had 35 total rebounds in the game.
“In this league if you give up 22 rebounds, that’s really the only thing that matters,” Willard said. “And you turn it over 15 times in the first half. We were still in the game, but just couldn’t get a rebound.”
Timely fouls cost the Pirates as well. The Big East’s leading scorer Bryce Cotton had a chance to convert a 4-point play twice in the game. The first came in the final minutes of the first half with the Pirates only down 10 points. Cotton went up for a shot and Pirates’ swingman Fuquan Edwin’s hand hit Cotton in the face.
The second came with just under seven minutes remaining, with the Pirates threatening to make a run. Graduate guard Kyle Smyth made contact with Cotton. He missed the free throw.
The Friars set the tone early, jumping out to a 22-5 lead in the first 10 minutes of action.
“They just wanted it more and it showed,” Edwin said.
Willard said the team was hanging in there early, but lack of play making cost them.
“We had chances to make plays early,” Willard said about the opening. “Brandon had his shot blocked and Eugene had his shot blocked. We just dug ourselves a hole.”
The Pirates also suffered another loss to their front court in the first half. Sophomore Brandon Mobley dislocated his right shoulder, the same shoulder he needed to be surgically repaired last year, which cost him the first nine games last season.
“We’re a little beat down, but that’s still no excuse to come out and not compete,” Willard said. “Especially on the backboards. Other guys need to step up.”
Edwin said the team is having an issue playing together during this stretch.
“We’re just not playing good as a team right now,” Edwin said. “We’re not doing anything right.”
The Pirates will travel to play Marquette on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at email@example.com.