Seton Hall survives late Xavier surge for fifth consecutive win

Seton Hall toppled Xavier by a final score of 83-71 to extend its winning streak to five in Cincinnati on Wednesday night.

With the win, Seton Hall not only snapped Xavier’s 13-game home winning streak, but the Pirates remain perfect in Big East play and improve to 3-0 in conference play for only the fourth time in program history and the first time since the 2017-18 season.

An initially slow start to the night quickly turned into a 14-2 run for the Pirates.  Although Xavier came close to tying the game on multiple occasions down the stretch, Seton Hall retained the lead for the remainder of the action after overtaking the Musketeers early in the first half.

Four Pirates hit double digits in points for the second consecutive game. Myles Powell led the way with 24, while Quincy McKnight’s offensive influence continued to manifest itself, as he put up 15 points and seven assists. Romaro Gill also had a productive night on both ends of the floor, providing 11 points and five blocks. Gill and Ike Obiagu both came up huge on the defensive end once again, making life tough for Xavier finishing at the rim.

Despite being the only starter to not reach double figures, Myles Cale was phenomenal defending Naji Marshall for most of the game. The junior forward did not get a whiff of the basket throughout the entirety of the first half, sinking his first points of the match only in the second half with Cale on the bench.

Xavier had ample opportunities to make a comeback, specifically towards the end of regulation with its press defense. However, the Musketeers failed to make the most of the turnovers they forced on the night. It also did not help the Musketeers that they were outplayed in collecting balls off the glass with Seton Hall collecting 32 total rebounds in comparison to their measly 24. Tyrique Jones lead the way for Xavier with 19 points and nine rebounds, but his contributions were not enough to inspire his side at the crucial moments in this game.

As the Pirates progress through their Big East schedule, it is becoming abundantly clear that the team is beginning to gel together. While there is no denying Powell is the outright star of the team, Cale, McKnight, Gill, Jared Rhoden and the rest of Seton Hall’s supporting cast is beginning to find its way. The offensive responsibility is final being shared amongst everyone on the court rather than just Powell and the Pirates have clamped down on the defensive end.

Seton Hall will be back in action this weekend when Marquette comes to the Prudential Center on Saturday. A win would push the Pirates to 4-0 in Big East play for the first time since the 1992-93 season.

Justin Sousa can be reached at justin.sousa@student.shu.edu. Find him on Twitter @JustinSousa99.

Author: Justin Sousa

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