Seton Hall put up its second consecutive loss Saturday afternoon, falling to Providence 65-61 after rallying back from 16 down earlier in the game.
The game was the second in a three-game road trip for the Hall, which began last Wednesday with an overtime loss at Marquette. It will finish this Monday when the team plays Villanova as part of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day matinee on Fox Sports 1.
The Pirates had an opportunity on Saturday to improve to 3-2 in the Big East, setting themselves up in good standing for that difficult task at the Pavilion. In a game where Seton Hall once trailed by 16, the Pirates had the opportunity to take the game by the scruff of the neck when they cut the deficit to six at halftime.
The game remained in arm’s length for the Pirates throughout the second half, but Seton Hall could never take control. Credit for that goes to Providence guard Kyron Cartwright, who had 20 points and eight assists. Whenever the Pirates needed a stop, Cartwright was there to keep things moving for the Friars.
Still, Seton Hall was able to tie the game twice down the stretch through Desi Rodriguez. Both of his field goals were low percentage shots on seemingly broken offensive possessions, but the junior from the Bronx was able to hit them none the less to pull the Pirates in quick succession.
Although, it was Cartwright again, who sealed the deal for Providence. He finished off the Pirates for good when his turnaround jumper over Khadeen Carrington flew through the basket, plus the foul. After Cartwright made his free throw, Seton Hall had one last look to tie it, but Myles Powell was unable to hit a three-pointer from the corner.
After the game, head coach Kevin Willard called the Pirates’ effort “embarrassing” in an interview with AM 970. As transcribed by Chris McManus from SHUhoops.com, Willard stated, “There’s guys that have heart on this team, but there’s guys on this team that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. I don’t question the heart, I just don’t understand how we show up like that.”
Willard went on to say, “This is an embarrassment. To play like we did at Milwaukee and then play like this, it’s unacceptable.”
Now at 2-3 in conference play, Seton Hall will be in desperate need of a win against a Villanova team that ranks No. 3 in the country. That game will be on this Monday, with tip-off set for 6:30 p.m.
James Justice can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JamesJusticeIII.