Seton Hall shows city toughness in 89-79 win over No. 22 Texas Tech

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NEW YORK CITY — Seton Hall’s hard-fought, gritty 89-79 win over No. 22 Texas Tech has turned the tide on their young season and put what they are capable of on full display.

Leading 73-65 with 5:57 to play and Ish Sanogo on the line, most Seton Hall fans probably felt as I did: not confident at all.

That’s not a personal knock on Sanogo, a career 52-percent guy at the line.

But missed free throws and making games closer than they have to be down the stretch is a staple of recent Seton Hall basketball for any fan with a shred of cynicism in their veins. 

With an elderly Texas Tech fan waving her red shawl directly behind the basket, Sanogo of course missed the shot.

But what ensued went against the cynical grain, brought the team together in the moment, and will serve as a bookmark to reference later in the season when push comes to shove. 

Myles Powell — who would feature later down the stretch — missed a quick three off the rebound, but a mosh pit of players would then collide while trying to pull down the second offensive board which costed Sanogo a linebacker blow to the face by a Texas Tech big.

Seton Hall came up with the all-important fumble.

After a brief coming together by both teams, Sanogo turned to the bench with adrenaline-laced passion that summed up the whole sequence.

Two seconds later, Khadeen Carrington would score to give the Hall a ten-point lead, the biggest for either team in the game at that juncture and one which Powell made sure wouldn’t slip away.

“You see it, every time one of us gets into something, everybody is there,” said a grinning Carrington of the physical sequence.

“That just goes to show our brotherhood and how tight we are. We’re not going to let nobody punk one of us, we’re going to be there for each other.”

The showing of passion and extra effort brought the late-arriving Madison Square Garden crowd to a boil as the Seton Hall support made it feel just as, if not more at home than the Rock. The tough-as-nails play encapsulated a string of similar ones earlier in the game and says a lot about the character of the team.

“They’re all workers,” said Kevin Willard of his team. “They’re all talented, but I think the biggest talent that they all have is that they all work, they all put the work in.”

“When I watched them on film, I thought this is one of the best teams we’re going to see all year.”

“Ish brings a lot of energy to the game,” said Powell of the frantic play. “When he’s doing stuff like that on the offensive end and defensive end, it inspires everybody and that’s what sparked us.”

Powell is more qualified to speak on said burst of energy than anyone.

After getting their double-digit cushion, it looked like Seton Hall hit a brief patch of cruise control before Texas Tech brought their deficit to six with just over two minutes to play after implementing a highly disruptive full court press.

Just as Mr. Cynical had his foot in the door (again), Mr. Powell slammed it shut.

He scored seven unanswered — and picked up a steal — in 45 seconds to instantly turn the sophomore from Trenton into a Madison Square Garden veteran. 

“Anytime Myles Powell shoots the basketball, you can count on it going down,” said Willard of his two-guard that he labelled as the “best shooter in the country.”

“When you have a guy like that on the floor, it makes everyone better.”

Big picture, this win is a significant morale boost after expectation-cooling showings on the court in Brooklyn for the NIT Tip-Off and it primes the Pirates for another resume-building test at Louisville this weekend.

For Carrington, who was mentored by his coach during the week to remind him he’s playing better than he thinks, the meaning of tonight’s win was concise but has resonating principles.

“It says a lot. It says that we never stay down.”

  • LBP

    They are tough and that is why they are such a well-liked Team–Bring the lunch bucket

  • PadrePirate

    YES! Went to bed skeptical after the rocky first half. Great team win. We need this one bad. Hope this sets the trajectory back to sky high. Still worried about Khadeen and PG though…

    • Joe Schmoe

      Why do you think the 1st half was rocky? there were a couple missed easy buckets, but all in all it was exciting, back and forth, switch between slow tempo and fast tempo, no team gained any real seperation. It was 40 full min of fantastic team orientated basketball from both squads.

  • Andrew Herbst

    This group is tough as nails. Love this team. Never give up.

  • The Other Powell

    I was at the game tonight, and I have to admit, the fan showing was especially weak. It wasn’t until the second half that the lower levels were 40% full (and that’s being generous). I know The Hall is a small school, so we can never expect the fan turnout to be akin to the big programs with tens of thousands of students rattling the arena. That said, the train ride from SO to Penn is very doable and I I feel that this team is especially sharp when they’re able to feed off of the crowd – I felt it was a shame that the team didn’t have that added fuel driven by a strong student attendance…admittedly, the 6:30 tip off didn’t do us any favors in this respect. Why is it that SHU is the local team and the game we played tonight was seemingly the headliner, yet our game was scheduled first? I feel that were we to have tipped off at 9 pm it would’ve been a better scene from a Pirate fan standpoint – I may be wrong. Regardless, I was happy to see much of the same second half grit that we can hopefully come to expect from this group throughout the season. We tightened things up defensively and used decent ball movement and penetration to get some good looks – Desi was a stud, once again, and Powell didn’t allow a cold first half to stifle his breakout in the second. Lastly, I feel badly for Deno…he’s doing all he can to make the adjustment to PG. But let’s not kid ourselves, he’s a 2 through and through. A lot is being asked of him with this transition to the 1. I like that he gets some relief with Desi playing the point forward at times, but I can’t help but think that his upside is being unfortunately capped with this new, seemingly obligatory, role. Hopefully Willard can continue to be creative on the offensive end and allow things to flow through Angel at times, Desi and Powell at others, allowing KC to do his things offensively without the burden of being the true point guard that he isn’t. In the end, there are no nay-sayers on this end – all I can say is good Ship, people…good Ship! Now let’s make a statement with Louisville. [end rant]

    • The Other Powell

      …and apologies for the long post…it’s my first offering after reading all of your commentary for some time now. Brevity moving forward…promise.

      • VinBick

        Love your post, O.P. . Who says one has to be brief when discussing our Pirates here? Chris provides everyone the opportunity to share thoughts here as a nice break from the rigors of everyday life.

        • The Other Powell

          Appreciate that, VinBick. And Chris does a great job with this site. Many thanks, Chris!

    • ThePirateFan

      Agree about Carrington. He’s sacrificing a lot for the good of the team.

    • Joe Schmoe

      6:30 tip caters to people who work in the city that can get out of the office early enough to make it, or students without jobs. If you work/live in northern NJ you know what a nightmare it is to get anywhere during rush hour. i was fortunate enough to pick up 89.5 while in bumper 2 bumper traffic at 6:30 last night.

    • Mike Walsh

      Watched on TV and got a very different impression of the crowd. The announcers kept commenting how energized the Pirate fans were and it sounded like a big game atmosphere. I think the Rock will be rocking this year.

      • The Other Powell

        Yeah, sometimes what you see and hear on the TV is not representative of reality – they do a pretty good job using different camera angles to not make it look like a morgue in there. There was some good crowd energy in the second half though as a few more seats were filled and a small student section near the band that made some noise. But if you looked around the area, there were no more Pirate fans then there were from TT, Temple or SC.

    • Louie Dee

      Hopefully, Gordon gets more playing time (experience), especially during the cupcake games coming up. He has some potential and might be able to contribute 20mins a game, which gives us the option to move KC to the 2.

      • The Other Powell

        Agreed. I thought Gordon played really well in the first half – he popped a couple threes and ran the offense with good control and pace. I’m not sure if this scenario happened last night, but against smaller opponents, I could see Gordon running the point with KC and Powell at the 2 and 3 (in either order) and Desi and Delgado down low perhaps. I know that might be a stretch as our defense and rebounding will suffer without either Ish or Nzei on the floor. The problem that I see with KC not getting significant time at the 1, is that it impacts the ability for Powell and KC to be on the floor at the same time for long stretches.

        • Louie Dee

          Good point. Those games should be used to experiment and get Gordon comfortable at the PG. So in the big games he can help out KC. There’s a lot of upside to Gordon he just needs more confidence and needs to keep getting battle-tested.

  • Pingback: Five Thoughts, Five Quotes: A closer look at Seton Hall's heart-filled win over No. 22 Texas Tech -

  • Mike Walsh

    I was at every home game and many away games in 1989, there are many similarities between the 89 Pirates and this year’s team; mental toughness, aggressive on both ends of the court and strong second half finishes. This team has better athletes and more firepower. I believe that the PG position will be played by committee and will work out fine. This could be a big year.

    • Bob Murphy

      I was at the Meadowlands alot in 1989 and for several years after that. I see why you’d say this team reminds you of them as the core of both squads had played together for 3 years. I would say this – the 2 biggest differences between the teams are: foul shooting. The 1989 team was a GREAT foul shooting team – especially in the tournament. And – this is no knock on Khadeen, as he’s playing out of position to help the team – but 1989 had better PG play. Both foul shooting and ball protection and distribution win tournament games at the end. Not to say the current team can’t do that, but like to see them start. That said, this year looks better and more fun than any in recent memory.

      • Mike Walsh

        Agree that 89 Pirates were better at shooting fouls and had a true point guard. Current team can improve on free throw shooting, as they proved last night, and these guys are more athletic than the 89 team.

        • Bob Murphy

          Mike, By athletic, I assume you mean speed – I agree – this 2017 group is certainly faster than the 89 team. The 89 team though could win close games with that foul shooting. I’d compare them this way for now – and of course, this season has yet to be played, so the comparison is premature. Gerald Greene is probably a truer pure PG than Khadeen is at this point, but as a player, Khadeen is taller, faster and better offensively. I’d put Greene a little ahead of him for on-ball defense. While Powell has a chance to be an excellent college player, I’d say right now, Morton is one of the top players to have ever played at SHU, so I’d give him the edge. Gaze and Desi – two opposites. Gaze certainly more of a 3-point guy as well as a “glue guy” in terms of screens and defense, but those Pirates played a different offense. Desi is much more athletic than Gaze was. Ish/Mike versus Darryl Walker. I’d give Walker the edge here as he was a rebounding machine in the BET and NCAAs. He also was a very good foul shooter and though he did not shoot a lot, what he shot, he made. Very, very smart player. He gets the edge. Angel versus Ramon Ramos. Very similar players – I’d call that a draw. I think Ramos was a great rebounder and may have been a little more athletic than Angel. But Angel scores more and is really a team leader. I remember Ramos as being quiet. We also have to remember that the Big East conference back then was the strongest conference in college basketball, so the road was tougher in 1989. The Pirates that year lost to Syracuse 3 times, including the BE semifinals. I’d rate the 1989 teams bench a bit stronger than this group. If you remember the NCAA games, Nick Katsikis, of all people hit big 3’s against Indiana, UNLV and Duke. Obviously, this years teams story has not been written yet. Hopefully they can get the NCAAs and go on a run.

          • Rich Ricci

            I completely agree with you assessment of the 1989 versus the 2017 Pirate squads, but you’ve considerably undervalued Gerald Greene, Bob. Although he was a big time scorer in high school, it turned out most of his points came on breakaways after steals and, since he didn’t have much of a jump shot, his scoring at the collegiate level was limited due to his lack of height, so he didn’t “completely give up” his offense as much as adapted to his capabilities due to his limitations.

            Greene had a true point guard mentality, so he instinctively knew when to attack or when to pull the ball out and regroup, along with the quickness to get deep into the paint and dish it off for a layup or a wide open jump shot. However, perhaps his biggest contribution was his on the ball defense, which caused the opposition to start their offense just over the midcourt line instead of around the key area with little time left on the shot clock, which meant the other team was often in a “helter-skelter” mode and had to take a bad shot, something we sorely lack right now.

  • Joe Schmoe

    What is KW & Companys record at MSG vs ranked opponents?

    • Joe Schmoe

      7-3 at MSG with four wins over ranked opponents

  • Louie Dee

    Did anyone notice the energy of red shirt players? Watch the highlights towards the end. TT was grabbed by one of the assistant coaches to sit down. lol It’s awesome! They look committed to the program.

  • Ardy

    Looks like URI woke up the sleeping giant. Since that game SH has been on a roll. MP is a player who can score in bunches and the Hall should run more plays for him. I know that MP confidence has gone thru the roof when the KW says he is the best shooter in the country. I was at MSG and the SH fans had MSG rocking. That was real inspiring to see and hear. The 6 points from EG was a plus. This is a special team.

    • Louie Dee

      I can’t agree with you about the “sleeping giant” until I see what happens on Sunday.

      • Ardy

        They will come thru. They get up for these type of games. I expecting them to break 100 points for the 1st time this year.

    • Mike Walsh

      I agree that the loss to URI was a wake up call and these guys really needed to know that you have to work hard to be great. Also, losing to URI (a top 50 team) by 1 point will not hurt on selection Sunday. Donny Marshall (FS1) thinks that Powell is the best of our starting 5, if he is right that is one more weapon that opponents will have to prepare for. All these guys have to do is make the extra pass and they will be hard to beat. Share! Share! Share!

      • Ardy

        15 assist or better will bring a win. I agree Share, Share, Share.

      • Valentino

        Poor foul shooting, turnovers and lack of productive minutes from the bench keeps my expectations in check. Kevin does not have much time or opportunities to improve the team in these areas.

        • RonD

          If we get the right guys shooting FTs late, we will be fine as evidenced last night when Desi, Khadeen, and Powell took all the FTs but one in the 2nd half. I think they went around 10/12. Ish was the only other player to take a FT in the 2nd half… and he missed.