Seton Hall defeated the DePaul Blue Demons 79-71 on Sunday afternoon in a game where the Pirates held the lead from starting tip off to the final buzzer.
“It was another good game for us today because it was our fifth straight Big East win at home,” head coach Bobby Gonzalez said. “You have to protect your home court because winning on the road in this league is so difficult.”
Junior guard Jeremy Hazell’s buzzer-beating three pointer gave the Pirates a 15 point lead going into halftime, but the Hall’s momentum did not carry over as they were outscored 36-29 in the second half.
In the final minute, DePaul’s Michael Bizoukas hit a three and Mac Koshwal finished a put back to cut the Blue Demon’s deficit to four.
The Pirates led 73-69 with 20 seconds left to play in the game but closed it out with two made foul shots by junior forward Jeff Robinson and layups from junior guards Jeremy Hazell and Keon Lawrence.
“We pretty much controlled the game from the beginning to the end,” Gonzalez said. “We did what we had to do to win the game and we’re happy.”
Hazell led the Pirates with 18 points, adding three assists and three rebounds.
Robinson has emerged as Seton Hall’s number two option on offense after recording his second straight game in double figures with 16 points on 70% shooting from the field, along with two blocks and three offensive rebounds.
“All around, I feel a lot more comfortable playing,” Robinson said. “I’m putting in extra work in the gym with shooting and I just come out and play hard.”
Four Pirates, Theodore, Pope, Lawrence, and Mitchell, all had eight points against DePaul. Pope also added 15 rebounds, two blocks, two assists and one steal.
“I try to look at the game by each possession,” Pope said. “Coach Gonzalez can tell us what to do, but he can’t play for us.”
Seton Hall set the tone by starting the game off on a 12-1 run, not allowing a Blue Demon field goal until Tony Freeland finished a layup with 15:34 left in the first half.
Through the final nine minutes of the game the Pirates only scored three field goals, two of which were layups in the final ten seconds of play.
Seton Hall shot 49.2 percent from the field compared to DePaul’s 43.9 percent mark.
The Hall returns to action Wednesday night in Jamaica, Queens to take on St. John’s at 7:30 p.m. in Carnesecca Arena.
The Red Storm are coming off an upset victory over Louisville at Madison Square Garden last Thursday, 74-55.
Matthew Bryant can be reached at email@example.com.