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Sunday, November 16, 2008


November 16, 2008

NEWARK, NJ - The coaching axiom tells us the first four minutes of each half are crucial. For Seton Hall the initial moments of the second half basically settled the issue in a 71-50 victory over Columbia. The win at the Prudential Center put the Pirates at 2-0 on the young season.

Columbia made a late first half run to trim a 15 point deficit to 7. The Hall then opened the second half scoring on their first three possessions. Overall the Pirates scored nine points in their six possessions during the initial four minutes of the final half. Columbia didn’t score a point over their initial half dozen possessions. That’s an efficiency rate of 150-0 in Seton Hall’s favor and sure to increase your College Basketball Odds of winning against anybody. And after those four minutes the Hall lead was at 16 and the momentum largely in their favor.

The totals…

Seton Hall..............70.3....................101

Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez lauded his team’s defense. The defense also sparkled in Firday’s easy win over 88-61 St.Francis of NY. A tempo free check shows St.Francis had an offensive efficiency of 83 so Gonzalez was right about the defense.

Columbia had 16 first half turnovers (a horrific 31 % of their possessions ending in TOs). They had five the second half but still finished with a 23% TO rate. Over 20% is considered too high.

Columbia came off a win at Fordham on Friday where they dominated the boards. That was a Gonzalez priority and the Hall responded with a 46-34 rebounding edge.

A few notes on the Hall players…

Robert Mitchell - The Duquesne transfer is listed at 6-6 but is more a three or two rather than a banger. Mitchell will hit the three and occasionally penetrate. He had ten against Columbia but was 4 of 15 from the floor.

John Garcia
- The senior post player hit the glass hard but struggled to finish in the first half against a front court he enjoyed a size advantage over. Finished with a notable 11 points 14 boards.

Eugene Harvey - Almost became the second player in Hall history to record a triple double (the late Eddie Griffin was the only one). Harvey scored 12 points pulled down 10 boards and handed out 8 assists. Another solid Harvey effort.

Jeremy Hazell - Loves the three but gets to the line. “I think defenders come out fast on him and panic because he can shoot so well,” Gonzalez said. “As a result he shotts threes but gets fouled.” Had a game high 21 points and was 4 of 9 from three and 7 of 9 from the line.

Paul Gause - Added 5 points in 32 minutes. A defensive specialist but not as noticeable because the Hall pressed sparingly.

Jordan Theodore - First off the bench. The freshman guard comes in to run the point which gives Harvey a breather or allows him to shift to the two spot. Theodore added 5 points in 17 minutes.

: Hall attempted 36 % of their shots beyond the arc. Expect that given the starting five of Mitchell, Garcia, Harvey, Gause and Hazell which is basically four guards and a post. Gonzalez mixed up the pressing nicely. He opened with a press then took it off after a few minutes. Later he used it in spots. The Hall coach went zone part of the second half. “It was our second game in three days,” he said, “and we didn’t have the legs yet (for a full game of man to man).”

Quotable: Gonzalez spoke about the 2-0 start noting, “people say we opened with easy teams but those teams are dangerous this time of year. Look what happened to Providence losing to Northeastern and VMI beating Kentucky. Our aim is to win these games at home against teams you are supposed to beat.”

Pete Peregrin, a 6-0 walk-on, one of four on the roster, from South Plainfield, NJ was given a huge ovation when he entered the contest. He missed his only shot attempt from three.



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