Seton Hall creeps closer to first NCAA bid in decade with 70-52 throttling of Providence

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It looked like a shell-shocked Seton Hall team was going to get turned around by a 19-6 Providence second half run fueled by Ben Bentil, but 8 straight points from Desi Rodriguez including a drawn flagrant two on Bentil would seal the deal for a Pirate team that was better all night long.

The win gives Seton Hall (20-7, 10-5) their first 20-win regular season since 2003-04 and will move them to a projected 8- or 9-seed in the NCAA tournament.

Seton Hall had the better energy out of the gates on both ends of the court as Angel Delgado (14 pts, 10 rebs) scored their first two hoops and his teammates got after Kris Dunn (8 pts, 0 assists, 3 TOs), who turned the ball over twice early en route to a tough night; Dunn was clearly suffering from the stomach bug that sidelined him from practice earlier in the week. It was his first 0-assist night since January 26th, 2013.

A precursor of how the game would turn out, the Pirates snagged a pair of early offensive rebounds and largely kept the Friars off of the glass after they settled for a barrage of long jumpers — some of which went in and out — in the first half and in the game.

Seton Hall was held back by 11 first half turnovers and allowed Providence the chance to bring the game within a point with 30 seconds left in the half but Derrick Gordon did Derrick Gordon things and drew a charge on Dunn to set up a seemingly routine Isaiah Whitehead triple at the buzzer, turning the game on its head.

The pivotal swing would turn into a game-changing 15-0 run that was coupled with a 7:21 Providence field goal drought, setting up a commanding 42-25 Seton Hall lead after the dust settled at the under-16.

The Friars would answer with a 6-0 run of their own and a Ben Bentil triple — their first of the game after missing 15 straight — but Angel Delgado and Isaiah Whitehead would have none of it.

The duo combined to reel off 11 points in 90 seconds and bring the Prudential Center crowd to their feet for umpteenth time as the home team held a 52-32 lead with 12 to play.

But it wasn’t over.

Bentil went on absolute rampage, scoring nine points of 90 seconds to bring his team within 7 with as many minutes to play, effectively shell-shocking the Pirates and their fans.

Like at the end of first half, Isaiah Whitehead was again the offensive catalyst to end a Providence run.

The floor general set up Ish Sanogo for a big dunk to end Providence’s run, which primed Desi Rodriguez’ personal 8-0 run coming out of the under-four that started with Bentil’s flagrant two.

More post-game coverage from Newark coming.

  • Andrew Herbst

    What a great win tonight! I think we are in the tourney now with 20 wins and 10 BE wins. Whitehead was outstanding on both ends of the floor. He is shooting so well and making some beautiful passes. Delgado was on the beast on the inside. Desi and Carrington made so many clutch shots. I can’t wait for Sunday’s game against Xavier. It will be an electric atmosphere. I will be there cheering our boys on. GO PIRATES!

  • shufaninva

    I always said that Kevin Willard was a good coach. None of you would listen to me lol. 😉

  • ThePirateFan

    Great win Pirates!!!

  • Brendan McCormick

    Great win tonight! Whitehead was under control and didn’t have any stupid turnovers like he normally does. Would like to see them run some more in-bounds plays instead of just throwing it deep however. Cant wait for Sunday. Hazard Zet Forward.

    Also has The Hall at least clinched a 6 seed in the BET?
    This is worst case scenario but at least they wont be playing on opening night.

    • Matty P

      I’m not sure how the tiebreakers work, but I would think they could be no worse than 5th since they swept Georgetown, Marquette, and Providence in league play.

  • WilponsStinkLessNow

    Great game tonight, a real no doubter. The Pirates dominated the glass and totally shut down Dunn. Bentil went off but to be honest he hit some really tough shots. Ben there, Dunn that — I don’t think so.

    I have a really good feeling about the Xavier game. Hopefully they’re suffering from a little Nova hangover, just like the Pirates when they lost to Creighton. Third place finish, that’s the goal in my mind.

    And for those of you that go to the games, I had a chili cheese hotdog and gravy fries tonight at that new place two doors down from Dino, because it was the only place not packed to the gills, and it was really freaking good. I’m looking forward to checking out Burg this Sunday after the Hall shocks the world.

  • Hallbuster

    Props to the coaches and more props to the players. Really peaking at the perfect time. Fun to watch them have fun and at same time play with a chip on their shoulder. So all the people who said we didn’t get style points in our win at St. John’s, did we get them tonight?? Those same people now saying providence isn’t a good team and sweeping them in blow out fashion isn’t impressive anymore. News flash, providence is good, but we are that much better!! Sick of people belittling this team”s accomplishments. Isaiah is right, they get no respect, and it’s driving them. Keep it up. Win the big east tournament and they will say the big east sucks lol. Win the national title and they will say it was a down year in college basketball. So sick of it. Complain when there is something to complain about. Not now! Give these guys some credit!!!! And put on your dancing shoes!