Rapid Reaction: Seton Hall ends 2017 by edging St. John’s 75-70

Connect with SHUHoops.com:

NEWARK, N.J. — It started with hot shooting and ended with a back-and-forth closeness that is known to accompany rivalries.

No. 23 Seton Hall used a hot first half from the perimeter to build a ten-point halftime lead that they would ultimately protect down the stretch in a hard-fought 75-70 New Year’s Eve win over St. John’s.

Seton Hall looked bogged down early by St. John’s superior length — 6’5 triple-double threat Justin Simon was routinely the shortest guy in red — but shook themselves awake early via a 14-2 run that featured a trio of Myles Powell (16p, 4-7 3pt) threes as the Pirates appeared content with shooting over the Red Storm’s length in a zone look.

Unable to deal directly with St. John’s approach of limiting Angel Delgado’s (12p, 12r, 6a) touches and crowding the paint, the Hall just kept passing around it and shooting over it — to great effect.

The Pirates would assist on 12 of 14 first half buckets and drill 10 of their 18 threes en route to a building a 43-33 lead at the half despite not scoring a field goal for the final three minutes and getting out-muscled in the paint 14-4.

The Red Storm wanted to prove the first half was just some hot shooting from the hosts and an early 8-0 run in the second half immediately shrunk Seton Hall’s cushion, but it was a pair of Ish Sanogo (4a, 2r) influenced plays that jump-started a commanding 13-0 counterpunch when Seton Hall’s glue guy assisted on a pair of buckets on consecutive possessions; the run ended in Sanogo and Tariq Owens receiving technicals for trash talking.

Leading 58-43 with the largest lead of the game and 13 minutes to play, the Red Storm perpetuated the game of runs by going on a 12-2 to lock the game in for an exciting close.

Again leading 65-62 heading into the under-four, St John’s head coach Chris Mullin received a technical which he protested by grabbing the Red Storm’s radio microphone, but the Hall was unable to convert of the ensuing free throws.

Up three points with just under two to play, Seton Hall finally received a huge basket in the paint when Delgado put back an offensive board to give his guys a 70-65 lead that they would cling to the rest of the nail-biting way.

Rapid Thoughts

St. John’s defensive approach gave Seton Hall fits. It was masked in the first half by outstanding shooting and ball movement, but it was clear from very early on that the Red Storm’s length in their zone was going to be their defensive calling card. The Hall was outscored in the paint 30-16; I wonder if other teams will adopt similar looks as the season goes on.

The game old “game of runs” proverb was certainly true tonight. The Red Storm started it off with a 9-0 run early, Seton Hall answered with a 14-2 and the rest was history. The most important of the whole bunch were a 13-0 second half surge from the Hall after their lead was cut to 45-43, and St. John’s corresponding answer to keep the game close until the end.

Reliance on the outside shot can also be looked at as a positive. Although it probably won them the game today and can be seen as one-dimensional, Seton Hall was relying more on scoring within the arc until tonight, so it can conversely be said that the Pirates showed versatility today by winning in a way they haven’t really done so far this year.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Two games down, and both were hard fought battles. Looking around the league, DePaul played Xavier tough on the road. The gap from the top to the bottom of the league looks a lot tighter than in recent years. There are going to be no “easy” games. Great job by the pirates tonight for getting the job done.

    • z06

      No easy Games ,My feeling we will get a W in Butler

  • PadrePirate

    A win is a win, but that sure was ugly. After the perimeter shooting cooled off, SHU looked clueless on offense during those last 10 min. Tariq Owens is a beast. If that kid can put on 30 lbs without loosing his athleticism, he’ll have a bright future. This was beginning to feel like the RU 2H collapse, but the guys hung on. This year’s BE has certainly been a wild ride so far. I think St J is a tournament team if they can stay healthy.

  • Joe J

    Very lucky to win this game. No ponds and no Lovett and it was a major struggle. Not good. 0 bench points and putrid foul shooting, Only 4 players scored in the game for SHU. If this bench continues to do nothing, this season is not going to go well. The Freshmen need to do.something and fast for a successful season

    • PadrePirate

      KW said post game that Ponds and Lovett being out left the guys too relaxed. Hot shooting and some lucky rolls/calls saved us, but this game showed our holes. You can bet that other BE coaching staffs are going to be watching what St John’s did to give our offense trouble in the second half.

      • Joe J

        If that is true then it is the job of the Coach to motivate his team. Is that his excuse for the team shooting 61% from the line?

      • VinBick

        No team in this league can be taken lightly whether their best players are available or not. Full effort for 40 minutes is essential. No relaxing, period. We have that target on our backs because we are expected to win. When Angel is doubled, the others must step up which they did from deep in the first half.

        Butler will be another really tough game there. With their win over Nova, they have to think we are going down, too, in their house. As an underdog, our guys have to steal one there or at Marquette.

  • Andrew Herbst

    It wasn’t easy today, but a win’s a win. We’ll take it. We lucked out considering we had no bench production and didn’t shoot well at the line. We could use almost a week off to regroup. Always tough to play at Butler. Happy New Year everyone. GO PIRATES!

  • Pirate_Law

    Is the box score correct that the starters accounted for all scoring? This is concerning to say the least. A win is a win and Ill take it but I thought we were a very deep team.

  • Pingback: St. John's Notebook: No. 23 Seton Hall squeaks past short-handed St. John's 75-70 - SHUHoops.com()

  • z06

    The big guy needs to stop crying when the call don’t go his way and makes all strange faces,don’t think he could make it in the NBA