Newark, N.J. — It wasn’t pretty, but it counts. Myles Powell scored 31 to will his team past Butler, 76-75, in a bounce back win for Seton Hall.
Seton Hall started both halves almost identically — and it wasn’t pretty. Until it was. Sort of. Not really? They turned the ball over on three of their first possessions of the game before losing it six times at the first media break. In the second half, they coughed up the rock four times at the first media whistle during an 8-0 Butler run but both slow starts seemed to magically vanish after lengthy timeouts; 10 of Seton Hall’s 16 turnovers were before the first two media breaks.
Defense was Seton Hall’s calling card and kept them within reach over the first quarter of the game. Although their defense was locked in from the tip, it’s not hard to argue that a better team than Butler would have been leading by double digits ten minutes into the game instead of trailing 12-9. That said, the Bulldogs missed nine straight threes until 11 minutes left in the game after they sank 25 of 55 (36%) over their last two.
This game was pretty ugly, as captured by Flag Man’s flag falling apart just seconds into his ritualistic cameo at the final media timeout. Coincidentally, I was writing this during that final timeout because the ugliness didn’t depend on the final score and the verdict was already in. The defense was above average (but, the offenses didn’t ask a ton of questions), the Hall missed some important late free throws, it was an 8:45 tip, and the officials appeared to miss (or see something that didn’t exist) a lot of calls, which prolonged the relative agony. All around, it wasn’t a game to write home about for either team and it truly had a “I can’t believe this game is so close” feeling over the last couple minutes after Butler cut it to a possession with 2-3 minutes to play.
It looks like we’re going to see some Darnell Brodie sightings with Romaro Gill (ankle) sidelined. Brodie (3 pts, 6 rebs, 1 blk) checked in fairly early in the first half and threw his weight around in the paint often en route to what was a impressive showing after logging just 12 minutes coming into the game. Brodie wasn’t even listed on Seton Hall’s KenPom team page before tonight.
Myles Powell (31 pts, 8-15 fg) is pretty much always going to cook, but it’s usually about what his sous chefs are doing to make sure the restaurant stays in business. But that wasn’t quite the case tonight. Quincy McKnight (10 pts, 6 asts, 2 stls) did a nice job on Baldwin, Brodie made an impact, and every Pirate to see the court saw the scoring column, but McKnight and Sandro Mamukelashvili were in foul trouble (Sandro, Nzei, Thompson were quiet), and the entire team turned it over plus missed free throws in droves. I wouldn’t quite chalk this up as a traditionally balanced game — we wouldn’t be talking balance if Seton Hall lost.
Five Quotes from Kevin Willard and Co.