The Pirates looked to stay in the win column against No. 20 UConn as they fight for a spot in the NCAA Tournament later this season.
Following a Huskies layup from the pre-season Big East player of the year Adama Sonogo, Kadary Richmond found Al-Amir Dawes and KC Ndefo on consecutive plays to give Seton Hall their first lead, 5-2, at the 17:36 mark in the first half. UConn retaliated, retaking the lead just minutes later, though a Ndefo layup sparked a 7-0 burst.
UConn refused to back down, and as an injury to Richmond took him out of the game, the Huskies used a 14-3 run for their first double-digit advantage of the afternoon. Defense once again proved to be the Pirates’ strong suit as they held the opposition scoreless for almost five minutes headed into the break.
Seton Hall trailed by just six at halftime, 33-27. Ndefo posted his best offensive half of the season with 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting and a three pointer. Dawes added nine points to the Pirates’ total.
An uncontested 7-0 run to begin the half for the Hall allowed them to pull within two points and kept the game within four points until the 12:28 mark. UConn pulled away, though, with a 14-0 surge to take the largest lead of the game at 16 points with six minutes remaining.
The Hall would come within six twice in the final minute, though a Sanogo rejection would put the Pirates’ hopes away. The Huskies stole the win, 64-55, on their home court. Dawes and Tyrese Samuel led Seton Hall with 16 points each, and Ndefo followed with 13 points and five rebounds.
Only two shots from behind-the-arc fell for the Pirates as they went 2-for-11 from range. UConn did not have much luck either, shooting 4-for-22 from three. Seton Hall had more points in the paint and points off turnovers, but the Huskies proved to be too much.
Seton Hall falls to 9-8 in conference play and 16-12 overall. They will get a six-day break and return to action on Feb. 24 when they take on Xavier at the Prudential Center at 7 p.m.
Thomas Donnelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @_tommyd023.