A star-studded performance from Myles Powell was simply not enough for Seton Hall to take down No. 11 Oregon in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thanksgiving eve.
After playing well for most of the night, Seton Hall’s offense disappeared and the Pirates allowed Oregon to end the game on a 20-6 run that resulted in a 19-point comeback and 71-69 win for the Ducks.
Up 54-37 following a barrage of threes from Powell, it looked like Seton Hall had Oregon dead in the water. Instead, as they have many times in the past, the Pirates failed to close and allowed Oregon back into the game. By the 8:19 mark, the Ducks trailed only 60-57. Seton Hall pushed its lead back up to double digits with a 10-0 run, but from there, the Pirates lost their way offensively and Oregon climbed back into the game. A Shakur Juiston putback layup after a Payton Pritchard airball put Oregon with 13 seconds left wound up being the deciding bucket after Shavar Reynolds failed to covert at the rim and a half court heave from Powell at the buzzer went wide left.
The Pirates opened the game with Powell, Jared Rhoden and Anthony Nelson hitting consecutive three-pointers. As a team, the Pirates finished their first half shooting 7-15 from beyond the arc as opposed to Oregon’s lackluster 2-7 mark. Oregon’s Payton Pritchard rode the bench for most of the beginning parts of the first half with two early fouls, but Chris Duarte picked up the offensive slack, banging in the Ducks’ first seven points of the game.
As the Pirates dominated the early parts of the first half, they put together four baskets in transition in a period that saw them go seven for eight from the field. Tyrese Samuel put the cherry on top of the four-minute spell for Seton Hall sinking his first three of the night to make it 26-18 with nine minutes left in the half.
Coming out of the time out, Oregon went on a 10-0 run as the Pirates struggled to find a basket for over four minutes. Seton Hall went 0-for-6 over that stretch and were helpless as Oregon brought the score level at 28-28. Samuel once again banked a three-point effort to end the drought, and Powell immediately followed with a shot from range of his own. Powell had a minor spat with C.J. Walker from the bench following the shot as the Trenton native was tripped up by Lök Wur’s lifted foot. That proved to be the last basket of the half as Seton Hall ended the first half with a four-point lead over Oregon at 34-30.
In a pregame interview with ESPN, Powell stated if he were a fish, he would be a shark. Unfortunately for Oregon, Powell unleashed that shark-like instinct right from the jump to set the Pirates on course to start the second half.
AHe hit six consecutive shots from beyond the arc, providing Seton Hall with 15 of its first 23 points in the second half. Sandro Mamukelashvili and Myles Cale each banged home their own respective three-point shots in the half’s opening five minutes, but Oregon floundered to contain the shark in the water as the Pirates went as many as 19 points ahead of them in the second half.
After catching fire in the opening minutes of the half, Seton Hall found itself ice cold offensively and Oregon took advantage. As the Pirates couldn’t figure it out down the stretch, Oregon took advantage of free throw attempts to score with the clock stopped and smooth offensive sets led by Pritchard to overtake a sputtering Seton Hall squad.
The loss takes away Seton Hall’s chance to boost its NCAA Tournament resume against No. 8 Gonzaga, but there is still basketball to be played in the Bahamas. The Pirates will have a chance to get back on track in the loser’s bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis against Southern Miss on Thanksgiving Day at 4 p.m.
Justin Sousa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @JustinSousa99.