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Friday, January 23, 2009


January 23, 2009

By Ray Floriani

NEWARK, NJ – A day after NJIT ended their streak in this city, another one, though not as severe, goes on. Seton Hall is still searching for their first Big East win of the season following last night’s 98-93 OT loss to Providence at the ‘Rock’. A few notes or points of emphasis…

Attacking the basket. Providence got into the three point game the first half. Actually both teams (PC 9-12 and Hall 6-12) shot the ball very well from beyond the arc. The second half Seton Hall defended the perimeter players better and PC coach Keno Davis made it a point to attack the basket. Davis was especially pleased with his club’s second half game plan execution. “A month or so ago if teams defended us outside better we still would have shot the three,” Davis said. “We would have moved back and still shot the three. Tonight we adjusted in the second half and went inside.”

Jeremy Hazell. The Hall sharpshooter had a game high 30 points including 7 of 12 from three. Later in the first half PC led by 14.Midway in the second, the Friars had an eight point lead. Both times Hazell sparked a Pirate rally by burying a few treys. In overtime though, he was defended very well by the Friars. Hazell got a few looks but not uncontested in that extra session. To no surprise the Pirates look to Hazell as a primary option. But they have Paul Gause, Robert Mitchell and Eugene Harvey willing to take perimeter shots so you cannot spend all your defensive focus on one player. That gives Hazell more room to roam and get open.

Attrition. Seton Hall does not have the bodies. As noted Davis made a concerted effort to attack the basket the second half. It worked as John Garcia, the Hall’s lone starting big man’ fouled out(as did Robert Mitchell and Paul Gause). PC shot 42 free throws to the Hall’s 22. In post game interviews Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez didn’t criticize the officials but wondered how Providence shot 20 more free throws than his club. At the half the Hall attempted 6 to PC’s 5 so it is quite obvious that the Friar change in offensive philosophy was a major factor in the free throw disparity as well as in wearing their hosts down inside.

• Friars had five players in double figures led by Jeff Xavier’s 20 points.

• Tempo Free…..

Seton Hall........81...................115

Very high offensive numbers, largely due to the three point shooting of both teams.

..................eField Goal Pct
Providence............60%(11/20 from 3)
Seton Hall............58%(13/27 from 3)

Quotes: “We have an incredibly trying part of our (Big East) schedule coming up. What helps us is we have off until our next game Wednesday against Syracuse. That will give us a chance to ‘get our legs’ and work on a few things…We are 6-2 in conference and that puts us in a good position.” – Providence coach Keno Davis

“We have to keep fighting. We have been playing some good basketball but we just have to find a way to win. Nothing in this league is automatic.” – Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez



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