The men’s basketball team lost a Big East thriller in Omaha Sunday night to the No. 11 Creighton Bluejays by a score of 72-71.
It came down to the final play of the game where Seton Hall had a chance to win but couldn’t capitalize. Creighton’s top player Doug McDermott and senior Ethan Wragge missed both of their free-throw shots late in the game leaving the Pirates a chance to win in the final seconds. Senior Fuquan Edwin ran out of time and was forced to take a long shot from behind the line which didn’t fall, sealing the victory for the Blue Jays.
Creighton came into the game first in the Big East with a 12-2 record and unbeaten at home. The Pirates traveled to Omaha for the first time in program history, entering the game with a 5-8 Big East record and a recent blowout win over Georgetown which snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Pirates played close with the top-ranked Bluejays from tip-off until the final buzzer. Edwin, Eugene Teague, Patrik Auda and Brandon Mobley all finished with double-digits in scoring. Edwin led the way with 21 points, and was followed by Teague who had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
After being down eight late in the first half, the Hall went on a 7-0 run to take the lead, but Creighton’s Grant Gibbs hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the half to retake the lead 38-36.
Creighton held on to their lead in the second half, but the Hall refused to go away. With 30 seconds left in the second half, the Pirates were down by three. Edwin was fouled and made both free throws bringing the game within one. Creighton re-took possession but lost the ball off of a pass from McDermott in their own territory, giving the Pirates a chance to get the turnover and score.
The ball rolled through Edwin’s legs and Creighton recovered and Wragge was fouled. Wragge missed both shots from the line, leaving the Hall a final chance to win the game, but Seton Hall couldn’t hold on.
The Hall rebounded extremely well with 34 total rebounds compared to Creighton’s 20. The Pirates outscored the Blue Jays 15-4 in second-chance points.
The Pirates also excelled at the free-throw line, hitting 14 of 15 free throws. The only area where Seton Hall struggled was in turnovers, giving the ball away over 11 times, which in turn led to 11 points for Creighton.
Freshman point guard Jaren Sina stepped up in place of sophomore Sterling Gibbs who did not make the trip for the game. Sina finished with 5 points and 3 assists..
With the loss, the Pirates fall to 5-9 in the conference and 14-13 overall.
Seton Hall will return to the courts on Tuesday as they travel to Rosemont, Ill. to face DePaul. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m.
Courtney Hnasko can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.