Sadly becoming a rather common occurrence for the blue and white from South Orange, the Seton Hall Pirates (9-5, 0-3) led another ranked team late into the second half, yet failed to close out their opponent. To view my post-game thoughts following the conclusion of last night's 71-63 defeat to UConn, click here:
Failing to protect the brief lead, Kemba Walker found a wide open Jerome Dyson in the corner drilling a 3PT shot, tying the game at 57. Dyson's 3PT would spark a 17-4 UConn run, yup, killer instinct. Cliche, but true. Winning basketball teams possess it while exciting basketball teams may or may not. Seton Hall is an exciting basketball team for sure, however, at this point, how can one argue that they are anything more?
The AP recap courtesy of ESPN, includes quotes from head coach Bobby Gonzalez which are beginning to sound very familiar:
"We're going to win a game," Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "And once we beat somebody, we're going to get confidence, and I really believe this team is going to get better and better and get on a roll."
Quite frankly, I don't want to keep hearing, "we're going to win a game." One would hope they would win a game, or two, or three. I don't like the notion that winning a game will instill a confidence in the team, the team should be confident that they can win each game, because it's quite obvious that they hang around long enough to make each game interesting. The team needs to play with a confidence that they have the ability to finish off opponents, whether they've proved it thus far or not.
SHU Athletics recaps the clear turning point in the game, advantage, UConn:
After the Pirates stretched the lead to three, 57-54, Jerome Dyson hit a three-pointer in the corner to tie the game and converted on a break-away layup off a Seton Hall turnover to give the lead back to UConn, 59-57. Gavin Edwards scored on back-to-back possessions off Pirates' misses to push the run to 9-0 and give the Huskies their largest lead of the second half up to that point, 63-57, with 4:43 to go.
Jerome Dyson fell just short of his first career triple double, courtesy of UConn Athletics:
Senior guard Jerome Dyson (Potomac, Md.) narrowly missed his first career triple-double as he led four teammates in double figure scoring as 13th-ranked Connecticut men's basketball wore down Seton Hall late and defeated the Pirates, 71-63, Wednesday night before a crowd of 9,522 at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
Dyson finished the contest with 16 points, 10 assists (for the second-consecutive contest) and nine rebounds. He had his second consecutive double-double after registering just two in his first 91 games at Connecticut. Edwards finished with 15 points making seven of nine shots, adding four rebounds.
The Pirates and their opposition continue to say the same things following their contests, writes Brendan Prunty:
They gave the same answers as they have been after the losses. The opposition gave the same compliments. But it hasn’t changed the reality that with a 71-63 loss to No. 13 Connecticut Wednesday night, that Seton Hall is stuck on repeat.
"That’s why we play this game," Pirates point guard Jordan Theodore said after the game. "We’re going to get one sooner or later. We’re playing really good teams right now, but it seems like in the last two minutes, we just can’t close it out."
NBE Basketball Report notes the defensive assignment UConn used to force Hazell into another poor shooting performance:
The Pirates also got 13 points from Jeremy Hazell. However, Hazell shot just five of 20 from the field as Connecticut gave the defensive assignment of stopping the high-scoring Hazell to 6-foot-9 Stanley Robinson. Hazell has been able to shoot over just about any wing defender, but the long and athletic Robinson made it much tougher on Hazell. Herb Pope battled first half foul trouble but finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Seton Hall is next in action Saturday night at the Prudential Center taking on the Cincinnati Bearcats at 6pm. The Pirates having lost five of their last six, will need to win to prevent dropping five in a row and their first four Big East contests.