No. 10 Seton Hall, once down by as many as 25, stormed back on the road at Providence but saw time run out as the Friars defeated the Pirates 74-68 behind a career-night from Alpha Diallo.
The Pirates entered this game 6-0 on the road in the Big East and held opponents to 39 percent field goal shooting in such games.
Both teams started off ice cold from the field, going a combined 1-for-12 before Diallo made his first three pointer of the game.
Diallo poured in a career-high 35 points and 10 rebounds to go along with a career-high 5 three-pointers. Previously Diallo had only hit four threes in a game twice in his entire career, but the Friars star power forward went off for 4-for-4 from deep in the first half.
Not able to find the bottom of the net, Pirates found themselves down 25-5 with a little of over 11 minutes remaining in the half.
The Friars started in a 2-3 zone to begin the game and shifted to a 1-3-1 later and tried to use their length to bother Myles Powell.
Powell started 0-for-5 this game but erupted to finish the half with 10 points and two assists. The All-American candidate locked in defensively down the stretch as he forced two steals that helped the Pirates draw closer.
With Sandro Mamukelashvili in foul trouble, Ike Obiagu filled in and committed his second foul of the first half, unintentionally, resulting in a Flagrant One foul, which stretched Providence’s lead 39-15.
Jared Rhoden and Powell also battled first half foul trouble but fought to catalyze a 12-2 run in the last two minutes of the first half. Down 27-41 at halftime, the scoring run helped put the game within reach.
The energy to start the second half matched how the Pirates went into the locker room at halftime.
Seton Hall started out in a two-three zone with Powell and Quincy McKnight at the top of the key. As the shot clock ran down, Powell poked the ball out of Friar guard David Duke’s hand and Rhoden dove on the floor to recover it. Powell found Mamukelashvili in transition for an alley-oop that made the game 40-45 with 13:20 left in the game.
Powell caught fire as he continued to make three after three, but foul trouble plagued Seton Hall.
Powell attempted to recover a tipped jump shot and collided with Diallo to pick up his fourth foul with six minutes left. The Friars used that to go on a 6-0 run and up 62-54 as the game went under three minutes.
Playing catchup, Powell came back in and made two huge off-balance threes and Shavar Reynolds nailed one from the left elbow to make the game 68-71 with 13 seconds on the clock. The next Pirate three-pointer rimmed out and the Friars made their free throws to close out the game.
A combination of poor shooting and foul trouble doomed the Hall’s efforts to muster a late comeback. Seton Hall suffers its second consecutive loss and moves to 18-7 on the season and 10-3 in the Big East Conference.
The Hall still controls their own destiny in the Big East standings as they maintain a one-game lead for first place in the conference.
With a mid-week game scheduled, the Pirates will host No. 19 Butler next Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Prudential Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.