NEWARK, N.J. — Romaro Gill poured in 17 points and swatted eight shots as No. 10 Seton Hall took care of Providence 73-64 to win their ninth straight game.
Seton Hall won this comfortably and never really hit peak speed. Comfortable might be a bit of a stretch considering Providence was able to narrow the gap late via some pressure. But at the risk of repeating the same narrative of not playing at their best, it truly did feel like the lead could have been a lot more, especially early in the game before Providence made their late first half run. Even numbers wise, Providence was getting a ton of second chances, the Hall shot 3-of-13 from three and missed six of 12 first half free throws, and Myles Powell only scored 12 but it never seemed like the Friars were truly threatening. All of this appears to bode well as the win streak continues.
Somehow, someway Myles Powell only took six shots in the game. After taking four in the first, it seemed like that was being spoken to early in the second after a designed play for him to score on Seton Hall’s first possession, but Powell would take just one more attempt that wasn’t from the free throw line. Whether it was playing against Ed Cooley who knows him very well, David Duke’s defense, the Hall’s willingness to not force feed Powell or something entirely else like Gill breaking out, the end result worked out with Powell not more than a footnote in this one. Again, this speaks to how impressive a fairly comfortable nine-point win is.
Providence owned the offensive glass tonight. They had more boards on offense (19) than defense (14) and were able to hold a 10+ field goal attempt advantage for most of the game — closing at +19 — as they exploited the glass. Currently, it seems the best approach to Romaro Gill in your face in the paint is to miss on purpose and attack the glass as he vacates it to challenge shots. Let’s see how this translates to future games or if it was a 40-minute anomaly.
Speaking of Romaro, the uptick in applause he received during starting lineups was foreshadowing. He almost received the star treatment ovation that guys like Powell get and went on to play like one, dominating and putting home slam after slam to go along with four first half blocks. For most of the first half, Gill was clearly Seton Hall’s most potent offensive weapon and he emerged late in the second, throwing down a Jordan-looking slam after taking off from outside the low post.
Jared Rhoden gets tonight’s x-factor mention. Quincy McKnight’s 11 and 8 assists are only getting a sentence because he has been so consistent in league play, but it was Rhoden’s play including two key buckets and a big defensive steal during a crucial 10-4 run after Providence cut it to 55-52 that made a huge difference. Rhoden has reached double figures in five of his last ten games — it’s going to be interesting how Kevin Willard juggles him and Sandro Mamukelashvili once he returns.