I think everyone who made their way to the Rock for this game left with their jaws dropped at the show put on by the Seton Hall Pirates against St. John's.
Here are the 5 Thoughts from a Rout at the Rock:
- A True Team Win
I tweeted after the game that it may have been the best I've ever seen the Pirates play live, and it wasn't just because they made shots. It was because everyone was involved and contributing both on offense and defense. You look at the stat sheet from this one and it reads like a great novel. Double-doubles for Jordan Theodore (16 PTS, 10 AST), Herb Pope (10 PTS/10 REB) and Patrik Auda (12 PTS/10 REB). Every time you looked up, there was someone making a play. There was Haralds Karlis, knocking down threes and diving on the floor for loose balls. There was Aaron Cosby showing something more than shooting the three, running a little offense from time to time. There was Brandon Mobley being a beast on the boards. There was Freddie Wilson showing a confident late-game handle. There was Fuquan Edwin being a pest and knocking down a couple shots. Heck, there was Pete Dill with a couple sweet dishes and two steals in just about 90 seconds of playing time.
This was a team win from top to bottom, and I think everyone wearing blue and white tonight left the Rock with a sense of pride in their team, and their third straight conference win since the 6-game losing streak. After a performance like that, it's pretty safe to say that ugly stretch of games is behind this team.
- Bombs Away!
For the second straight season against St. John's, the Pirates literally could not miss from the three point line. Last year they went 12-18 from deep. Last night? 15-24 on deep balls, including makes in their first NINE attempts in the second half to turn a 12-point halftime lead into a blowout. It was a stunning display, and I don't think any of them were bad or forced shots. Just one of those nights for Seton Hall, except instead of being white-hot for a half, or an 8-minute span, they stayed hot.
- Get Auda Here!
Tremendous game by Auda, who notched his first career double-double while playing with tremendous confidence. He's finally starting to look like he means business on the court, and his line of 12 PTS and 10 REB in 23 minutes (in my opinion) has to be his best one of the season. It won't be talked about much, but Auda playing well was the icing on the cake for me (in addition to seeing Pete Dill get 2 assists) in this game.
- "When You Think, You Stink"
That's a mantra from my high school coach, and it's what St. John's was doing way too much of tonight. They're a young team, on the road, facing a defense like Seton Hall's, so I think we could have seen it coming. But there were several instances where the young Johnnies just didn't do a very good job of either moving the ball or making smart decisions with it. They got frustrated with the Seton Hall matchup zone, and as they did, the Pirates gained confidence that spilled over into the shooting on the offensive end. Things quickly snowballed out of control for St. John's when even close shots would not go down for them, and although they had their moments (a breakaway dunk by Sir'Dominic Pointer and a putback slam by Moe Harkless among them), this night belonged to the Pirates.
- Red Storm Chasers
Seton Hall, with the win, has now won 4 out of the last 5 against St. John's. Tonight was also the largest margin of victory ever for Seton Hall in the 102-year history of the rivalry, and only the second time the Pirates have ever beaten a Big East opponent by 30 or more points. The Pirates just have St. John's number right now- plain and simple. St. John's also still hasn't beaten the Pirates on the road since 1998.
Seton Hall is now on a three-game win streak and are playing very, very well. Next, they head to Cincinnati for a matchup with the Bearcats that could go a long way in determining seeding for the Big East Tournament. I'll be on the call for WSOU once again, and a full preview will be up on South Orange Juice this Saturday morning.
Hazard Zet Forward to all!