Garden Notebook: Big second half pushes Seton Hall past Marquette

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Seton Hall used a 17-2 second half run to take down Marquette, 82-76, in a season rubber match that sets the Hall up with Villanova Friday night in the Big East semifinals.

Marquette had more than their fair share of chances in the first half before Seton Hall clamped down, Angel Delgado nearly pulled off a historic triple-double, and the Pirates’ offense was unusually efficient in the second half en route to a victory that likely locks them into an 8-9 NCAA game. 

All that and more below…

Five thoughts

Marquette had a chance to put its boot on Seton Hall’s neck and failed to do it. The Golden Eagles were getting any kind of look that they wanted over the first 15 minutes of the game but only hit 5 of their first 15 attempts from three, at least 10 of which were very high percentage looks. Marquette should have led by at least 10 but were up just four with 5 to play and the Hall really upped their game from there on out.

On that note, Seton Hall turned the ball over just three times over the final 24 minutes. The game started with a flurry of unforced mistakes and five first-half turnovers from Angel Delgado and it looked like that would continue when the Hall stepped on the end line to begin the second half, but they would cough the rock up just twice the rest of the way. If you remember in my preview: Seton Hall turned it over 36 times over the first two games.

Seton Hall played a very balanced offensive game — everyone chipped in. Five guys reached double figures, Angel Delgado (12 pts, 16 rebs, 9 asts) nearly had his triple-double, Madison Jones scored 13, and Myles Powell notched a big 17 off the bench. 

How about the Hall’s free-throw shooting? Sub-300 nationally coming into the game, the Pirates were nearly perfect (22-of-23) from the stripe including 11-of-11 from Khadeen Carrington. Marquette wasn’t too bad either, they hit 15-of-17.

It was a strong atmosphere at the Garden. Seton Hall had a good but not great mid-day showing from their fans, who were left chanting “We want Nova!” late in the game, much like they did after beating Xaver in the semi-finals last March. There were plenty of neutrals and Villanova fans leftover from the noon matinee, but the Garden was about 80-percent full for most of the game. The game lacked late-game heroics, but the crowd was brought to a boiling point when the two schools nearly matched the St. John’s-Georgetown antics from the night. Desi Rodriguez tried to steal a dead ball from Andrew Rowsey, who grabbed Angel Delgado’s arm as he successfully did the same. Myles Powell and Rowsey then exchanged light shoves, which earned both technicals in a much more PG scrum than the night before.

Five quotes

Kevin Willard on what made this game different (not as close) as the first two meetings: “I thought we had — I think we had a six-minute stretch where they didn’t score in the second half. I thought both teams were a little sloppy in the beginning of the second half. But we were able to really defend. We made them take some tough 2s. We chased Rowsey off the line a little bit. He really hurt us. We were able to chase Howard off the line which really helped us.”

Angel Delgado and Willard on if they knew he had nine assists: 

Delgado – “Yes, I told Coach ‘Put me back in!’ He was like ‘Nah, you might get hurt.’ I was like, ‘All right, I’m just staying here then'”

Willard – “I knew he had nine for awhile, but once it got down to 10 — if they had missed a couple of shots and we could have been up 14 or 15, I would have kept him in. But they were just fouling anyways. But if they weren’t fouling, I would have put him back in.”

Willard on comparing the ACC, Big Ten and Big East (soon to be) tournaments in New York: “First of all, I think the ACC is in Brooklyn, right? That’s a different world, man. I got three guys from Brooklyn, they can have fun with that over there. I love my Brooklyn guys but I ain’t hanging out over in Brooklyn that much. I went to Lincoln so many times over the last couple of years, I said I’m never going back to Brooklyn.”

Willard on facing Villanova tomorrow: “Yeah [long pause]. It’s like waking up on Christmas: you’re all excited, you go down, you open the present and you’ve got a bunch of coal. But no, they’re a fantastic team. They really are. I think Jay [Wright], this is his best job by far. I think it’s his best team by far.”

Marquette coach Steve Wojciehowski on Angel Delgado: “They’re a tough matchup for us. I’m not sure there’s a more physical team in our league and Delgado is just an absolute beast. And you look at, when you say, well he only had 12 points. He had nine assists. To me he was the guy who dominated the game. It’s not just us, it’s the reason why he’s first-team all-conference. He’s got to be an All-American type player. I’ve been doing [this], playing or coaching for 20 years; that’s an All-American-caliber player right there.”

  • Some notable stats:
    SH 40-12 pts in paint
    SH 41-30 rebounds (Delgado had 8 ORebs)

  • hallstorm

    I didn’t think Marquette’s looks were that open in the first half because it looked like Seton Hall’s closeouts were pretty good. It did seem they were a little quick with the trigger. I really thought this game had to go through Deglado. He dictated where the Marquette defense was going pretty much and his ability to swing the ball was really great. I noticed he had 5 turnovers at half and none after. That’s big.

    Moving on to Villanova, we are going to have to be able to shoot 3’s and pass to the open guy. Their man-to-man D is really good and they give great help defense. Usually that translates to an open wing shot on the weak side. That has to be a successful shot.

    • LBP

      Hallstorm– I agree with you . Rarely do I challenge Chris’s perceptions or impressions but I never thought Marquette had a chance–although Hall was sloppy early, clearly the Team was just physically superior– in time that showed. Also thought a great contingent form the Hall ( was surprised how weak the Johnnies Fans were)– Unfortunately , Nova is a bad match-up for the Pirates but I feel better about this Team than last year–As I have said , I really like this Team

      • Fine to disagree! many other writers i was sitting with / chatting with on Twitter did agree, at least for the first 15-20 Marquette attempts from 3.

        Sure they may have been quick-ish releases, but the way in which they consistently made the extra pass or opened a guy up in the corner was impressive. Factor in them having the nation’s best 3PT%, and I think they missed opportunities.

        • hallstorm

          I understand that Marquette had 3 guys shooting over 45% from 3 coming in, but Seton Hall was actually ready this time. And the main reason why I say the closeouts were pretty good was because Marquette was over-shooting (I saw a lot of backboard attempts)–usually a sign that a shooter is giving a little extra over the contending defender. Seton Hall relented in the closing minute and Marquette made the score respectable by burying 3 after 3, but they were token defensive efforts.

          I’m just hoping our Pirates have learned from Villanova the last 2 games that they’ll crush us with the 3 unless we contest all of there shots and make sure to look for the opposite wing guy who is usually open.

  • LBP

    Just back and had fun “baiting” Nova–Hall looked great today ( yes even M.Jones who had his best Game ever)–Thought the Crowd was great considering most Nova Fans left early–Thought Willard Coached his best Game (resting players) and racking up the D through-out the Game. All of us (maybe for first time this year) had no doubt Hall would win and if Marquette had not hit its foul shots and some ridiculous 3s it would have been a 20 point margin. Real proud on how this Team has just gotten better and better–If Sanogo was a full go –Hall would have a real chance tomorrow against a Great Nova Team.

    • LBP

      Forgot to add that Desi’s streak of 3s in games played was stopped

    • Interesting you say that: the person I sat next to in media area yesterday said the same about Willard resting his players and called it a “masterfully coached game”

      Cant argue with that, even Rashed Anthony was inserted at the right moments. Wonder how much more available Ish will be tonight..

  • LBP

    Nova opens -11 many of us thought -8 would be line–looks like time for me to make some more $$$$$$

    • Bdeger5

      Let’s ride!!! Might need you to make some picks for me in Atlantis next week…

      • LBP

        You know I will be there with R Boys–we will last more than one 11pm Game this year- See you next week

        • Bdeger5

          Wish I was going. Hoping we are in Milwaukee or Indy so I can drive to the game from Chicago. No matter what, feel as though we are better prepared than last year. Time to make a run.

          • LBP

            I will make Ur picks and I hope Hall is in Midwest

  • SHU95

    I think SHU, Marquette and Providence all deserve a lot of credit considering the players each program lost early to NBA/Pro departures from last season. These schools are not accustomed to turning over players like Kentucky, UNC, Duke, etc. All three schools are poised to make the NCAA’s after being viewed as Fringe or non-contenders earlier in the season. I think it speaks well to the depth of the conference that these programs could lose players of that caliber early and recover quickly. Great to see…

    • LBP

      great point SHU95

    • Cartwright looks like a carbon copy of Dunn at times: Hell, he had a better assist rate than him until recently, now he has the same exact rate (41.8)

      Marquette has also re-tooled with guys like Rowsey and Reinhardt and looks like Howard is going to be a hell of a player. Good to see.

      Imagine if Georgetown and SJU were back on track too? Incredible league. I’ll settle for just SJU.

      • SHU95

        i think SJU is trending in the right direction, G’town may be a mess for the foreseeable future. Truth be told, I am most impressed with Providence (despite the Loss last evening). I just did not see anyway they would contend this season. Tremendous job by all three programs though

  • Bdeger5

    Something clicked in the last 5 minutes of the Butler game and today. Just looked so much more composed and organized on the offensive end. Starts with M Jones. Guy is playing at a different level and looks like a competent High Major PG. If he continues to play like this, look out.

    Big key for this matchup with Nova is the scheduling issue. The Pirates got absolutely hosed heading into the last two Nova games (3 road games in 6 days, late Wed. followed by early Sat.) which has affected the team a lot this year. Both teams coming off a back to back will make tomorrow incredibly close. Magic of the garden is real.

    SHU 63 – Nova 61

    • I like your confidence.

      Even though Nova wasnt in a tough battle yesterday, they only went 7 deep and Bridges was out with a stomach virus of some sort; Dylan Painter was forced to play.

      Nova’s 6-man rotation is as good as anyones but I suppose its a positive to play them in a conference tournament since they aren’t deep. As opposed to the alternative…

      • Joe Schmoe

        Id rather see the Hall beat the #1 than anyone else upset them. It was SHU that beat them last year, and it was SHU that sent them home three years ago. If you are a senior in the Nova student section I want it to be the Hall that sends you back to Philly empty handed three times!

    • Hallbuster

      Agree!!!

  • Hallbuster

    M Jones is by far most improved player this year and frankly holds the key to how we do today and in NCAA. He has morphed into a player similar to Gordon from last year. Beginning of the season he was not even comparable. Keep it up MJ!

  • Ardy

    Hope the Hall comes out hitting their shot early. Nova waits for the right time and that’s when they strike. We have to hit first and have Nova respond to us and not us always responding to them.Nova goes on 2min runs and they extend it if teams don’t respond. That’s what they did to the Johnnies. St Johns spend the rest of the day playing catch up while Nova cruised with a 20 plus point cushion. Nova plays well with a cushion. Hall can win if they don’t give Nova a cushion. The games that Nova lost they did not have that cushion.

    • Valentino

      Good points Ardy. Coach Willard has to find a way to stop the bleeding when the best teams go on a run – Witchita State, Gonzage and Villanova games haunt me. How to stop Brunson tonight? Coach be creative!

      • Matty P

        I think that’s the biggest question. How will they come up with stops against Brunson? There’s no one player on this team that can guard him 1 on 1. Over commit to help and Brunson is good enough to find the open man (16 assists against SHU in the two games this year). Do you just put Jones on an island with the assumption that you’ll allow Brunson to get his 20 points, but focus on stopping everyone else?

        • Joe Schmoe

          They had a record setting game yesterday in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Usually teams come down to earth the next game after a routing like that.

          • Matty P

            I agree, they should come back down to earth. Looking at the box score it would be hard to imagine Nova getting the same output from Paschall, Painter, and DiVincenzo that they got yesterday (16-18 FG; 7-9 3PT; 13-15 FT; 52 pts combined).

            Whoever comes away with the win today should end up as the BE champion. I think Butler would have been the only team on the other side of the bracket that would have given Nova or SHU trouble.

          • Joe Schmoe

            The other side of the bracket is interesting. Xavier is still a tough team. They have the task of now playing in three possibly 4 games in as many days though. tiring. They may be spent tonight/tomorrow.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Jones was great yesterday. Playing under control. He’s made a lot of strides since the beginning of the season.

    • shufaninva

      He certainly did look fantastic. I was so happy to see that. I don’t cringe every time he takes a shot now.

      • Andrew Herbst

        Same here. He’s developed into a solid shooter. Helps open the floor for Desi, Khadeem and Myles.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Lets not forget the Jay Wright tweet from 1/16/2017….

    https://twitter.com/VUCoachJWright/status/821182555173089280

    This should be on a big screen in the locker room.

    • shufaninva

      Am I alone here that I think he was being genuine about our toughness. I only say that because a tweet like that is so public…he’s smarter than to disrespect his conference like that, isn’t he? Even if the sting of the BE tournament final still stung, which it shouldn’t considering how they finished their season, that still just doesn’t seem like something Jay would do. Doesn’t he deserve the benefit of the doubt on that?
      That said, no matter what his intent, if it gets the boys fired up, Hazard Zet Forward!

      • VinBick

        I agree. When I had originally seen the negative comments about Wright’s comment, it seemed like a compliment to the Pirates. He has always been a classy guy. Believe it or not, until they won the National Championship last year, there were many Nova fans who always disrespected him. They criticised his attire of all things! Philly fans have never risen above the gutter level regardless of the team they like. Hell, remember Santa getting pelted with snowballs at an Eagle game?

        • shufaninva

          Can’t argue with you there. I had a real schmo behind me at the Nova game a couple weeks ago. He just kept talking and never let up. A ton of us left at the under 4 min timeout, and we made it clear to him that the score wasn’t the reason we were leaving early.

      • Joe Schmoe

        I would agree with you……but this tweet came moments after a 30 point victory for Nova. they won by 30 points, the hall didn’t even get 50 that night. In that context, it was extremely classless and unsportmanlike.

        • shufaninva

          I totally agree there. It wasn’t intentionally out of line, but the timing does make you scratch your head. Had he tweeted that the next day, I think it MIGHT have been a non issue.

          • Joe Schmoe

            Are we wearing the blue throwbacks tonight? If we are, its over!

  • VinBick

    This team is starting to play like the PJ teams of old. Real grit is on display–passion and persistence. Go Pirates!

  • Matty P

    Random interesting thing I just noticed. The only team to beat Nova in the BE tournament since realignment is SHU – 2014 was Gibbs’ last second shot, 2015 Nova won the BE tournament, and 2016 was Whitehead’s layup at the end.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Kevin Willard & Co is 6-2 in BET play since the realignment, with three of those wins coming from #1 (nova twice) and #2(Xavier) seeds…Shu has now made it to the semi’s 3 of the last 4 years.

  • Matty P

    Delgado finally getting recognition in being listed as a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award for best center in the country. Since he’s put in the work and shown he’s the best he needs a little bit of help from us. The award winner is determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame selection committee. If you all get a chance head over to this website and put in your vote for Delgado (http://www.hoophallawards.com/).

  • Joe Schmoe

    Jones is making too mAny mistakes

    • LBP

      I will not…I will not….