Post Game Thoughts: Marquette 84, Seton Hall 83 as Gonzo Will Likely Earn NIT Berth

-Barring two road wins to finish the season and a miraculous run in the BET (at least 2 wins), Seton Hall is destined for the NIT.  With the season on the line, Jeremy Hazell did all he could in overtime, scoring 12 points, but his last 3PT attempt banked off of the glass, rolled around the rim and popped out.  Seton Hall's bubble followed suit.  As we've seen all season, the Pirates weren't able to finish their opponent late in regulation/overtime and Seton Hall fell to 0-and-4 in overtime contests this season.

Hazell accounted for the first 12 points of OT and if his final shot fell, he would have been the only Pirate to score in OT.  With 3 minutes remaining and the Pirates trailing by 5, he launched a terrible 3PT attempt from the corner that never came close.  I tweeted that the shot attempt may have just cost the Pirates the season.  I couldn't have been more off. 

Jeremy proceeded to make his next three 3PT attempts, including finishing a 4PT with a made FT.  After Hazell finally missed, SHU fouled Cubillan, sending him to the line with 11 seconds to go.  After only hitting one FT, the Pirates had one last chance and found Hazell, who was double-teamed, but found a way to get off a deep attempt.  It didn't fall, but if it was up to me, I would have called the same thing, no question.  I have no problems with the last shot attempt, Hazell was feeling it in overtime and it didn't fall, simple as that. Jeremy, who didn't start due to a sore back, finished with 19PTS on 6-of-17 shooting, adding 6REB/4AST.  He started the game only 1-of-7, clearly bothered by the new mysterious back injury, yet he found a way to give his teammates a chance at the end of regulation and OT. 

-Bobby Gonzalez once again was successful in hurting his team, earning another well timed technical.  For nearly 9 minutes, from 12:15 to 3:30 in the first half, the Pirates trailed between 8 and 10 points, failing to close in on the lead, but they refused the Golden Eagles from running away with the game.  Once Jordan Theodore hit a 3PT attempt that finally brought the lead down to 5PTs, MU was fouled under the basket and proceeded to hit both FTs.  After the Pirates inbounded the ball, Gonzo decided the time was right to disobey the warning he picked up earlier and earned his 6th technical of the season.  Instead of chipping away at the lead, Gonzo's T gave Marquette a free point as Hayward hit 1-of-2 from the stripe.  Marquette received a free point courtesy of Gonzalez in a game that ended up tied in regulation.  To make matters worse, the Golden Eagles also proceeded to win by... wait for it... one point.  Just saying.

-Jeff Robinson, continues to dominate.  Finishing the afternoon on 11-of-15 shooting, JRob led Seton Hall with 25PTS/4REB/AST/BLK.  His play today was extremely dominant in the low post, receiving entry pass after entry pass, continuously finishing strong around the rim.  His mid-range jumper has been on target all season, however, today he scored the majority of his points from around immediate vicinity of the rim.  He's been extremely consistent down low and it remains a mystery why he's taken so many 3PT attempts throughout the season. 

Seton Hall seemingly pounded the ball inside to JRob for the better of 35 minutes, however that all changed in the final 5 minutes of regulation and all of OT.  Robinson didn't even take a shot attempt in the last 10 minutes of game action.  For someone who dominated the MU interior defense all afternoon, I can't quite figure out why they abandoned JRob's game.  Certainly, Hazell came through in overtime and made a ton of big shots, but to completely abandon the inside game plan? No idea why.

-Seton Hall outperformed MU in the following categories: FG% (50-to-47.5), 3PT% (40-to-36), REB (35-to-22), OFF REB (11-to-3), AST (20-to-15), that's generally going to get it done.  However, like the WVU game, it was decided from the charity stripe.  The Golden Eagles got to the line 25 times and converted 19 of the attempts, opposed to just 9-of-13 attempts from the Pirates.  Maybe the discrepancy in the number of FT's attempted was enough reason for Gonzalez to refer to the officiating as, "discouraging," following the game. 

-JT put forth his best offensive game of the season.  The sophomore point guard attempted to steal the show on senior day, finishing with 18PTS/5REB/3AST/2STL/BLK while shooting 7-of-11 from the field.  He did turn the ball over 4 times, but also drew two charges from Golden Eagles, however, the zebras forgot to call one.  Theodore was also a perfect 4-of-4 from long distance, leading SHU fans to question, "where has this been all season?"  I can't answer that, but it's definitely encouraging going forward. 

-Eugene Harvey.  In his last regular season game on the Seton Hall home floor, he was determined to do his best to extend his teammates season.  It's the mentality of a leader and Eugene has been nothing short during his four years as a Pirate.  He finished the game just an eyelash shy of a triple double, recording 13PTS/9AST/7REB on 5-of-12 shooting, while only turning the ball over one time.  In his last home game as Pirate, it was certainly a memorable one, thanks for all the memories Harvey. 

-Lazar Hayward (23PTS/8REB/3BLK) who finished 7-of-17, made his first 4 3PT attempts, yet missed his last 7, including a good look at the end of regulation.  All five MU starters finished in double-figures as the Golden Eagles only had 4 bench points under Buzz Williams' extremely tight 6 man rotation.  

-In order to rejoin the bubble discussion it was a requirement that the Pirates put forth their best effort every minute of their last 3 games.  It didn't happen, in fact, they failed that requirement before they even got to halftime of today's game.  The Pirates slept-walked through much of the 1st half, refusing to defend the perimeter and Hayward made them pay for their deficiencies.  They increased their overall intensity coming out of halftime, however, as the story has been for much of the season, the effort came up just short.  At this point, the Hall will need to defeat RU and PC on the road, enter the BET 9-9 and win 2, if not 3 games in order to refurbish their popped bubble.  More than likely, Bobby Gonzalez will finally earn that NIT bid after feeling as if his team was snubbed last season.  Let's see if he calls it progress.  

...Much more to come in tomorrow's day after post.

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