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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

BIG EAST GAME PREVIEW: Seton Hall @ St. John's

February 21, 2006

In their continued quest for, what just a few short months ago seemed impossible, a bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Seton Hall Pirates make the short trek into New York City to face the Redstorm of St John's. Seton Hall has put themselves in NCAA tournament position by winning seven of their last nine games, despite Saturday's loss to Notre Dame. On the other hand, St John's is desperately trying to find a way to the Big East tournament and have lost seven of their last eight games, including a home loss to DePaul on Saturday.

Here are the stories and previews from around the internet on tonight's game:

Take 2 for St. John's Against Seton Hall (NY Daily News)
Miracle in Making (NY Post)Hall's Hopes Rest on Defense (Star-Ledger)
Hall Can't Lose Focus (
SHU Has Eye on 'D' as Ugly Game with SJU Looms (Courier News)
SJU/SHU Scouting Report (Courier News)

To read our preview and see our game prediction, click read more below and don't forget to leave your prediction in the comments section!


Seton Hall is vowing to return to their defensive ways and should get a big help in that department playing a Redstorm team that will be without Daryll Hill and Anthony Mason Jr, both out with injuries. The Redstorm have been offensively challenged all season long, and now will be even moreso. However, you can not take St. John's lightly as they will compete for the entire 40 minutes and give a full effort, esepcially on the defensive end.

These two teams opened their Big East schedules against one another in early January and St. John's was without Hill in that game as well. With 12 minutes left in the game, the Redstorm were cruising to a 20-pt lead on the Pirates home floor. However, the resilient bunch of embattled Louis Orr did not give up and Seton Hall forced overtime and ended up winning the game by 8. It did not look like it was really going to matter much for Seton Hall as they dropped their next three in the conference, but, another comeback at home, this time against South Florida, set off a streak of six wins, including road wins at North Carolina St and Syracuse that propelled the Pirates onto the right side of the NCAA bubble. They just finishesd a tough home stretch of three games with Connecticut, West Virginia and Notre Dame, and they got another quality win over Notre Dame. Now, with St. John's and DePaul in back to back road games, the Pirates can sew up a bid with two more wins.

Shorty after dropping the heartbreaking game with Seton Hall, the Redstorm got their fans excited with three straight wins to move to 3-2 in the conference. Wins, at home, over Pittsburgh and Louisville had people beginning to take notice, but the difficult part of their schedule took a toll on St. John's as they lost their next six. They surprised Rutgers in the RAC before losing to DePaul at home over the weekend. Now, playing without Mason and Hill, they will have to go deeper on their bench with Ricky Torres and Ryan Williams playing larger roles and Cedric Jacksos will need to give the team an added offensive lift. They do have the potential to score with their frontline of Lamont Hamilton and Aaron Spears, but improved guard play will be needed to get them the ball.

For Seton Hall it has been Donald Copeland, Jamar Nutter and Kelly Whitney leading the charge on offense but timely contributions from Brian Laing and Grant Billmeier have also been huge with offensive sparkplug Paul Gause coming off the bench. The return of Stan Gaines from injury gives them another defensive presence and a player that is versatile on both ends of the court.

The early vegas line has St. John's as a 1-pt favorite, but I think Seton Hall has more offense and will bring a renewed defensive effort against a depleted offensive outfit and get the win tonight.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Seton Hall 65 St. John's 57


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