Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Dawes, Pirates prevail in 75-72 overtime victory over St. Joseph’s in first round of NIT

Following controversy around the BIG EAST conference and the selection of teams for the NCAA March Madness Tournament, the Seton Hall men’s basketball program accepted an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). 

“Despite what happened, we just wanted to play,” senior guard Al-Amir Dawes noted postgame. “We made that decision collectively.”

The Pirates, one of four teams selected as no. 1 seeds, hosted the St. Joseph’s Hawks at Walsh Gymnasium in the first round of the NIT. Fans packed the Hall’s South Orange home, with Asbury Park Press writer Jerry Carino citing it was “about as loud as [he’s] ever heard it.”

“In the big moments, when the crowd is really into the game, I feel like that’s another player for us,” senior wing Dre Davis added.

St. Joseph’s and Seton Hall traded baskets through the first three minutes of action, highlighted by back-to-back triples from senior forward Dylan Addae-Wusu. The Hawks led 10-8 at the 16:34 mark, though scoring droughts from both teams held the score there headed into the first media timeout.

Amidst another scoring drought and streaky shooting overall, the Hall found themselves trailing closely, 26-21, as head coach Shaheen Holloway decided to talk things over with less than six minutes left in the first half.

Tied at 30, the Hawks went on a 7-0 run in just one minute to put pressure on the Pirates, though the burst was broken by a tough basket from senior guard Kadary Richmond and a costly turnover that led to a turnaround jumper from Davis.

Seton Hall trailed 40-37 headed into the break despite the opposition shooting 55% from the field in the first half. The Pirates struggled from long range, shooting 28% compared to 39% from St. Joseph’s, both of which had a staggering 18 attempts through the first twenty minutes.

Dylan Addae-Wusu led the way for the Hall with 13 points on 3-for-6 shooting from behind-the-arc and 5-for-9 overall. Dawes added eight points and four rebounds, as well as Davis, who notched eight points and three rebounds himself.

“Just found my rhythm early,” Addae-Wusu said. “My teammates were finding me, I was getting open shots, and even after my misses, they were telling me ‘Let it go, keep shooting, you’re a great shooter.’”

The Pirates went into the half looking for an answer to Hawks’ guard Erik Reynolds, who led the game in scoring at the half with 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists on 6-for-9 shooting.

Coming out of the break, Seton Hall could not find their groove. Their first field goal didn’t fall until 16:28 in the second half, thanks to back-to-back makes from Dawes, though the team only shot a combined 2-for-8 to start.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Setonian delivered to your inbox

Down six, Davis connected on a short jumper followed by an electric put-back dunk that put fans on their feet as the lead was cut to two with under ten minutes to play.

Once a sinking ship, the Pirates began to rally with blistering defense, holding St. Joseph’s scoreless once again. A 7-0 surge capped off by a Dawes triple to take their first lead of the second half, 57-54, as the Hawks decided to call a timeout and talk it over.

The last 10 minutes of action featured limited offense on both ends, as the Hall found themselves in another prolonged drought.  Addae-Wusu poked the ball loose and threw down an electric jam that kept Seton Hall ahead.

St. Joseph’s then began a rally of their own, connecting from deep on consecutive plays to spark a 10-0 run to take a 68-65 lead with 41 seconds remaining.

Al-Amir Dawes stepped up and knocked down his fifth three-pointer of the evening and knotted the score at 68. Neither team capitalized on their final possessions, and fans in South Orange were awarded five free minutes of basketball as the game headed to overtime.

The trend of trading baskets continued, until another connection from deep from none other than Dawes gave Seton Hall the advantage once again and eventually sent the Pirates sailing to the next round.

With 26 points and 10 rebounds, Dawes led the Hall. Addae-Wusu followed with 18 points and six rebounds, with Davis contributing 14 points and 11 rebounds. For the Hawks, Reynolds notched a game-high 27 points.

Seton Hall improves to 21-12 overall and will face North Texas in the second round of the NIT.

Thomas Donnelly is the head sports editor of the Setonian. He can be reached at


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Setonian