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Wednesday, January 27, 2010



NEWARK, NJ - Seton Hall’s 64-61 over Pitt at the Prudential Center on Sunday victory was significant on several counts.

It was the first victory over a top ten (Pitt is ninth) team during Bobby Gonzalez’s tenure in South Orange.

It was the Pirates second straight win, just three days after a thriller over Louisville.

It was a game the Hall beat Pitt at what the Panthers normally do best, defend in a ‘grind it out game’, per Gonzalez.

Possessions / Offensive Efficiency
Seton Hall.......65.................99

The offensive efficiency (points per possession multiplied by 100) signifies a defensive battle but one where the Hall defense was notable better. The Pirates forced 20 turnovers by Pitt (13 the first half) and held their opponents to a 35% shooting afternoon. The turnover situation was especially troublesome to Pitt coach Jamie Dixon considering the Hall did not utilize full court pressure. The miscues were forced through some tough half court defense. “We made some bad decisions especially in shot selection,” Dixon said.

Jeremy Hazell of Seton Hall went to the bench with his third foul with 13 minutes left in the half. He returned after halftime but picked up his fourth foul six seconds into the half. Hazell retuned late and made a few big plays in the stretch. Overall Gonzalez had his junior guard only 16 minutes but he did score 9 points.

In Hazell’s absence Herb Pope had a huge game. Setting up on the blocks Pope muscled his way for a team high 19 points , 9 rebounds. He shot 8 of 12 from the field, a significant mark as evidence the Hall was not solely perimeter oriented. In fact only 13 (23%) of their field goal attempts came from beyond the arc.

Pitt trailed 30-19 with two minutes left in the half and closed out on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 30-26 at the break. The Panthers fell behind by eight the second half but battled back to make it a one possession game in the stretch. Ashton Gibbs missed a contested three with seconds left then missed a desperation heave near half court after getting a loose ball.

Gibbs, a New Jersey native who starred at Seton Hall Prep, led all scorers with 23 points. He was 14 of 14 from the line and shot onl 4 of 15 from the floor.

“We need guys to make shots,” Gonzalez said. “With Jeremy (Hazell) on the bench that long and winning , it shows we are a good team and can play different ways.”

Dixon frequently referred to ‘execution’ as his team’s problem. “We have tp get a better understanding of how to play,” he said. “We still have some improvement to make.”

The 66 possession pace is a half court tempo as Gonzalez pointed out. The Seton Hall mentor noted it was different than the faster paced Louisville game. Actually that contest was only two possessions faster but it did have more transition opportunities and breaks. The Pitt game was mainly half court with few transition possessions.

Hall now faces a tough stretch, South Florida, Villanova and Pitt, all on the road.


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