NEW YORK — The comeback kids are going streaking. No. 18 Seton Hall overcame a double digit halftime deficit for the second game in a row to take down St. John’s 82-79 while Myles Powell went off for 23 in the second half including his 2000th point.
Seton Hall’s streak continues. Now winners in eight straight, the win streak matches the longest of the Kevin Willard era (2011-12), although this is the longest stretch that involved Big East games. Looking back further, the eight-game streak is the longest involving league games since 2003-04. The next streak to beat is 2002-03 when the team won nine straight including eight against Big East opponents; one of the nine games was a February meeting with Saint Peter’s.
That was a fitting game for Myles Powell to pass the 2,000-point barrier. In fact, it was the type of performance you tell your kids and their kids about. From staring down the crowd at least four times after big shots (it was likely Shamorie Ponds, who was sitting second row), to flexing in front of Wendell (our cameraman) after a go-ahead and-one in the closing minutes, Powell did it all in the second half after just six first-half points.The final second half stat line? Try 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting on for size.
St. John’s first half ball pressure made Seton Hall’s point guard play look pedestrian. Granted they were third in steal percentage coming in, the Red Storm made the Pirates cough up six more turnovers at the half (15) than they did the entire game at Butler (9), who are a top-ten KenPom defense. The team was at fault, but Quincy McKnight and particularly Anthony Nelson were eaten alive and forced to make a variety of mistakes as the Pirates struggled to score.
The going Jon Rothstein-ism is that Kevin Willard makes “more adjustments than a chiropractor” at halftimes. And boy did he today. Within a couple touches of the rock, it was clear that the offense was playing proactively and not reactively as they went on to score 17 by the first media break, more than half of their total the entire first period. The most astonishing stat? After 15 first half turnovers, the Hall wouldn’t cough it up until the 6:59 mark of the second half on a Powell charge.
Speaking of that first media break, Seton Hall received a rare two-point boost during it. Originally heading into the timeout trailing 51-45, a pair of long Myles Cale two-pointers were upgraded to threes to set up a 51-47 score that Tyrese Samuel tacked two points onto to complete a 14-2 run that changed the complexion of the game. Basket corrections are rare enough but two during one break? That was a first for me.
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