Offensive continuity leads to road win for Pirates
USA Today Sports
The Seton Hall men’s basketball team (14-6, 3-4) was able to find their way on Wednesday night, snapping a three game losing streak with an 80-70 win over Marquette on the road.
After tough losses to Butler and DePaul at home and then Butler again on the road, the Hall was in need of a win in Big East play. After starting conference play with wins over ranked St. John’s and Villanova teams, the Pirates have been able to manage just one win in the five games since prior to the outing against the Golden Eagles.
With many calling it a must-win game for head coach Kevin Willard and his squad, the Pirates came out strong in Milwaukee. Jaren Sina, who had been a mere 1-15 from downtown the last two games, kicked things off with a three for Seton Hall. He would stay sharp from long distance, hitting two more treys before the night was over.
The two teams stayed close throughout the first half, trading blows in the middle minutes. Seton Hall began to pull away with time winding down and ended the first half with a 32-28 lead.
Seton Hall took the second half by storm, once again getting started with a three. This time it was freshman Khadeen Carrington. That would be the start of a 22-3 Seton Hall run that Marquette would never recover from. Seton Hall took their foot off the gas pedal at the end, as the Eagles were able to make it a 10 point game. Nonetheless, it was all about the blue and white in the last half of play.
Ball movement was the name of the game for Pirates, who played one of their more efficient games of the year. As a team they were able to record 23 assists on 29 field goals. Marquette was solid in that area as well, as the two opponents combined for 49 assists on 57 hits from the floor.
Sterling Gibbs played like a true floor general, dishing out a team-high 10 assists, the most for a Pirate since 2012. Fellow guards Sina and Carrington were not far behind with six and five of their own, respectively.
Almost everybody benefited from moving the rock around, as the Pirates entire starting lineup finished with double-digit point totals. Gibbs (24 points) and Angel Delgado (12 points and 11 rebounds) both had double-doubles. Senior Brandon Mobley tallied up 13 points and nine boards while Sina finished the game with 11 points. Carrington did a little bit of everything, recording 20 points and seven rebounds to go along with his handful of assists.
The Pirates will return to The Prudential Center for a rematch against Xavier on Saturday. The Musketeers beat the Hall earlier on in the season, 69-58, but that was without Isaiah Whitehead, who could be back. The freshman has been practicing with the team and was even considered questionable for the matchup at Marquette, according to College Hoops Digest.
Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. at The Rock.
Gary Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GPhillips2727.