NEWARK, N.J. — The timeless sporting proverb which says the best offense is a good defense rang true as Myles Powell proved his worth on both ends of the court in a 74-61 Seton Hall win over Georgetown.
Despite battling the flu over the last week or two, Powell (19p, 5r, 6 stls, 2a) admitted that both his head coach and his teammates have recently gotten on him for a lull in form that featured back-to-back single digit scoring totals.
With the flu now defeated via ample rest and medicine, Myles made Georgetown his next victim.
“I was just getting over my sickness,” said Powell of his recent struggles.
“As I’ve been saying all year, my four seniors came to me and have been telling me shoot the ball — they didn’t like my performance at Marquette, they said I haven’t been bringing my same energy. So today I tried to bring the energy on the offensive and the defensive end and it worked.”
Amidst a controlling start from Georgetown that featured dominant play on the glass, Powell was the key to jump-starting his team’s play on both ends of the court.
The Trenton native teamed up with Desi Rodriguez (19p, 5r) to string together a 9-0 run that gave Seton Hall their first lead at 30-26 since it was 2-0, and Powell converted on a trio of steal-and-slams in the first half which encapsulated the entire 40 minutes.
“The coaches and the players said I’m the fuel to the fire,” recalled Powell of the constructive criticism he received. “They need me to keep going. They fuel off my energy. If that’s what they need, that’s what I’m going to continue to do.
“Coach [Willard] has been telling me that he needs me to bring energy and get back on defense and that I’ve been lacking [defensively] and haven’t been rebounding much. So today I came in wanting to rebound and be great on the defensive end and it helped with my offense.”
Disregarding Georgetown’s turnover-prone nature, Powell’s defensive display which featured six steals and two blocks was historically significant: it set a new career high and came just short of a single-game record which was set by Paul Gause (8) and tied by Fuquan Edwin a pair of times.
“When Myles [Powell] plays with this enthusiasm, it’s infectious,” said Kevin Willard of his shooting guard. “He played with great energy and ran the floor much better than he has one the road the last two games. When he plays this way, we’re a much better basketball team.”
Not to be forgotten, Seton Hall’s usual defensive stalwart — Ish Sanogo — also made a similar impact today.
Following a surprising 14-point outburst at Marquette which saw two rare threes go through the net, Sanogo (8p, 5r, 3blks, 1stl) padded all areas of the statsheet with his influence on the game most apparent when he subbed in a pair of times in the first half.
Trailing 12-3 early, Sanogo checked in for Mike Nzei and Seton Hall instantly made a run.
Later in the half, Sanogo entered play at the under-four and his guys pitched a 10-0 shutout to close the period.
“I think Ish has gotten back to being extremely focused on being the defensive player that made him so good his sophomore year. When I watch him play, it’s amazing the impact he has on the game defensively.”
Maybe it’s time to go back to starting the senior forward.
“He’s the best defender in the country,” proclaimed Powell of his defensive counterpart on the day. “When he’s stopping other people on the defensive end and helping us on the offensive end — there’s nothing you can say. He does everything. I have nothing except great things to say about Ish.”