Seton Hall loses to Rutgers in season finale
The woes continued for the Pirates (14-17, 3-15) as Rutgers (14-15, 5-13) completed the season sweep of the Hall for the first time since 2001 with their 56-51 victory at “The Rock” Friday night. The Pirates finished the regular season losers of 11 of their final 12 games.
“I thought early in the game we had a couple of chances to take control,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “Rutgers did a good job of fighting back.”
Up six, midway through the first half, the Hall had two chances to extend their lead even more but a missed three and layup that kept the Scarlet Knights in the game and able to close the gap to 25-23 at the half.
Out of the locker room the Pirates once again let their opponent go on a run. Rutgers started the half on a 7-0 run aided by the Hall’s poor shooting, 0-6 during this stretch.
“It’s bad but what’s crazy is it’s just how the season has gone,” junior Brian Oliver said.
Another problem that the Pirates saw continue was their inability to handle the ball, outdoing their season average of 15.7 turnovers a game with 19.
No turnover hurt more than junior Fuquan Edwin’s with 20 seconds remaining and the team down three. Edwin dribbled the ball to the right corner only to have it stolen by Scarlet Knight sophomore Myles Mack.
“Myles did a good job and switched out and got a piece of the basketball,” Willard said.
With the turnover, Rutgers was able to close out the Pirates by making 1-2 free throws and junior Mike Poole grabbing the rebound and making 1-2 of the ensuing shots from the line.
“I really don’t know, I don’t have an answer for it,” sophomore Aaron Cosby said. “Feel like in repeating myself but its turnovers and defensive breakdowns.”
Cosby led the way for the Hall once again playing 38 minutes and scoring a team high 13 points. Oliver added 12 on four 3-pointers along with junior Eugene Teague scoring 11 before fouling out in a one point game with 2:38 remaining.
“Gene was playing well,” Willard said. “He was rebounding the ball well and he was playing pretty good defense.”
Even with the loss the Pirates will still play in the 12/13 game in the opening round of the Big East tournament on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. against South Florida.
“We’ll practice tomorrow, prepare again Sunday and get to New York on Monday,” Willard said.
Stephen Valenti can be reached at email@example.com.