Comment added from Gonzo Ball Editor, Bob Yelenak: Please welcome Gonzo Ball's newest contributor, Eric SoHayda, currently a student at Seton Hall. We're really excited to have Eric on board and looking forward to his contributions this season.
** This was the most complete game the Pirates have played against a quality opponent this year. The offense played well, the defense played well, and if there was a special teams, they would have played well too. From (almost) the start the Pirates played like they should have, had to, needed to, etc. Minus the first five minutes of the game, the Hall played with an intensity that we have seen many times this year. The difference? That intensity was translated into productivity, on both sides of the ball.
** Jeremy Hazell put on his dancing shoes tonight and put on a display scoring 33 points on 10-22 shooting (45%) including 5-10 from three (50%) while making 8-9 from the charity stripe. His best performance may well have come on the other end against the heralded Lance "Born Ready" Stephenson. Much critized for his defense or lack of, he took Stephenson out of the game for large chunks of time while holding him to 15 points (a few baskets late in the game that were "gimmies") and made his quasi homecoming one where the was no dazzle.
** The Point Guards did a tremendous job of playing the pass first point. Eugene Harvey had a bounce back game and Jordan Theodore stifled Cincinnati PG Deonta Vaughn (20 points) for large parts of the game. Other than Vaughn's 3's early (9 points) and 3's late (9 points) the Theodore/Harvey defensive sandwich silenced Vaughn for the other 30 minutes of the game.
** Looking around the arena you could see some fans gasping in absolute awe at no other then...successful free throw shooting. An eye popping 87.5% (21-24) turned a game that they could have won (WVU, Syracuse) into a game that they did win. Most importantly was Herb Pope, who didn't have a typical Pope-like game (14PTS/7REBS(0 offensive)) but his 4 of 5 from the line, including a flawless two late in the game on a one-and-one. Kudos also go out to Jeff Robinson who made 5-6 with under a minute to play. Bobby can sleep easy tonight after that performance from 15 feet.
** The role players did a wonderful job of being role players. Robert "Stix" Mitchell (13 minutes), Keon Lawrence (12 minutes), Jamel Jackson (6 minutes), and Ferrakohn "Ferro" Hall (6 minutes) didn't play much but when they did they played within themselves and did what needed to be done (play hard, cheer hard, stay within themselves) and allowed Bobby to give breathers.
** An absolute solid game from fifth year senior John Garcia. In 20 minutes, he chipped in 8 points, including a rare dunk, with 3 rebounds.
** The Captains (Garcia, Harvery, Stix) acted and played like captains tonight.
** By The Numbers:
- 87.5 - percent the Pirates shot from the free throw line. The highest all year
- 57% - percent of buckets that were assisted on (16-28), a credit to some nice passing
- 52.6% -- Cincinnati's FG percent, though it seemed SHU did a much better job than that
- 11 - Number of rebounds Cincinnati (32-21) had over the Hal
- 11 - Number of turnovers Cincinnati had over the Hall (18-7)
- 7 - Number of steals the Pirates had over Cincinnati (10-3)
- 2-0 - record against Cincinnati (SHU and J-E-T-S)
- 1-3 - Seton Hall's Big East Record
- 1 -- the number of former Pirate Kelly Whittney who was in the house, received a nice ovation