In the absence of standout guard Edmond Sumner, it was Xavier’s other star who broke the hearts of the Seton Hall Pirates on Wednesday night.
Junior guard Trevon Bluiett hit a mid-range floater with 4.4 seconds remaining to lift Xavier (16-6, 6-3) over Seton Hall (13-8, 3-6), 72-70.
Both teams struggled from the field to open the game as Seton Hall shot 0-8 heading into the under-16 timeout. The Pirates did not score until the 15-minute mark when Angel Delgado, who registered his 16th double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds, hit a mid-range jumper.
From that point on it was freshman Myles Powell providing the Pirates with a major spark coming off the bench throughout the first half. Powell was able to register 18 of his 26 points and ignited a 7-0 run at the end of the half, giving Seton Hall a 32-28 lead heading into the half.
The Pirates continued to roll at the beginning of the second half, building up a 47-41 lead, as Desi Rodriguez was able to find his stroke. Rodriguez finished the night with 16 points, 14 of those points coming in the second half.
After the Pirates built up that 47-41 lead, the Musketeers went on a 16-5 lead to put them back in front, growing their lead to as large as 59-52 at one point.
The Pirates did not go away despite being down seven and tied it up at 61 at the under-four timeout led by strong play by Madison Jones on both ends of the floor.
It came down to the wire after the two teams went back and forth for the remainder of the game. Khadeen Carrington was able to finish through contact to tie the game with 11 seconds left, but Bluiett came right back to hit what would eventually be the game-winner with 4.4 seconds left.
Carrington, who struggled shooting the ball all night, had a good look at a three from the wing to win the game in the closing seconds, but the shot rimmed out.
With the loss, the Pirates will travel to Georgetown to take on the Hoyas on Saturday in what is now seemingly a must-win game for the Hall if it wants to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.