Seton Hall Pirates at Xavier Musketeers
After a strong start, Seton Hall has struggled to a 6-6 Big East record. They still have a strong RPI at 25, but at 17-8, 6-6, they have some work to do. A win over Xavier (2nd RPI, 11-2 BEast) on the road would give them the NCAA bid. But the Pirates have lost three straight, while Xavier has won eight straight, including a 72-71 win over Creighton. The Musketeers don’t have to worry about NCAA bids. They are wondering if they will be a No. 2 or even a No. 1 seed. In their first meeting, Xavier defeated the Hall bye nine, 73-64 on the road.
Pirates’ comeback falls short against Hoyas
Seton Hall fell behind by 17 points against Georgetown last Saturday in the second half and went on a 10-0 run late in the game to take a 69-67 lead with 5:36 left in the game. But Marcus Derrickson, who scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, hit the game-winning three-pointer with 4.2 seconds left to give the Hoyas the 83-80 win. Myles Powell led the Pirates with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, while Desi Rodriguez added 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Seton Hall shot 45.6 percent from the floor and 9-of-22 (40.9%) from beyond the arc. But they struggled defensively against the Hoyas, allowing them to shoot 51.6 percent from the field.
Rodriguez leads the Pirates in scoring with 17.8 points per game on 50.1 percent from the field. Angel Delgado (6-10, 245) is their inside presence with 13.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. On the season, the Pirates are averaging 78.7 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting (37.3% 3pt). They are allowing 72.1 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting (34.4% 3pt).
Xavier continues to find a awy
Sometimes you need some luck along the way to a potential No. 1 seed. With 4.6 seconds left at Creighton Saturday, forward Ronnie Harreel Jr. was fouled attempting a three-pointer down 70-68. He made all three free throws to put the Bluejays up, 71-70. Sophomore guard Quentin Goodin raced up the court and drew a blocking foul on Harrell with 0.3 seconds left. Goodin drained both free throws to give the Musketeers an improbable 72-71 win. Goodin led the Musketeers with 17 points, while J.P. Macura added 15 points and nine boards. Kerem Kanter chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes. Xavier shot 46.3 percent from the floor and 3-of-19 from beyond the arc (3-19). They also outrebounded the Bluejays 41-28 and held them to 42.2 percent shooting from the field (11-34 3pt).
Trevon Blueitt leads the Musketeers with 18.9 points per game and 5.6 rebounds on 45.3 percent shooting (42.6% 3pt). Macura adds 12.5 points and 4.3 rebounds on 45.7 percent shooting (33.7% 3pt). On the season, Xavier averages 84.7 points per game (14th) on 49.8 percent shooting (37.1% 3pt). They allow 74 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting (33.5% 3pt).
Seton Hall is:
- 2-5 ATS last 7 vs. Big East.
- 1-4 ATS last 5 road games.
- 5-1 ATS last 6 vs. Big East.
- 11-5 ATS last 16 home games.
- 25-9 ATS last 34 overall.
Xavier has had three straight close calls but that will come back to bite them at some point. They also have Villanova coming up after this game, however, the Pirates are 3-5 on the road. The Musketeers are the better team in this one and they showed in the first game on the road.