It only took 33 days, but Seton Hall has finally won a Big East game, their third on the season. Tom Maayan's steal and dish for a game winning three from Fuquan Edwin gave Seton Hall a 66-65 win over Villanova last night.
Quotes from Kevin Willard's post-game interview with 1250AM WMTR:
"The kids really showed great heart. There was a time there I was getting a little worried, we were tired, I thought Aaron [Geramipoor] came in and gave us a really good boost in the last 5 minutes ... Tommy came up with a huge steal and had the presence of mind to pass it real quick. ... Everybody played really really well."
On the Maayan-JayVaughn Pinkston incident and it's affect on momentum down the stretch: "I thought the refereeing was terrific. They let go what needed to be let go. We had some opportunities again to get over the hump and get momentum -- we kept bouncing back -- something we've struggled to do. Everyone played hard, our press offense was a disaster - turnovers made a difference."
On playing a spoiler role: "I've been saying this all along, I've been proud of this team for all but a couple games. They've played their heart out. There is not one player who hasn't missed a game or hasn't played injured -- frustrating for us as a team and for the players... I have a lot of faith in this team, I love the guys on the team -- I'd love them a lot more if they were all healthy. We've been in every game but two. There's only so much you can do [with injuries]."
"I'm proud of these guys, I love them. They never gave up, they deserve it. Tonight they kept trying to make something happen."
On Aaron Cosby's big night (21 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds): "I was most proud of when he had a couple turnovers, he kind of just looked at me and said "my bad." I said, "no big deal." He didn't let the turnovers get him down, they actually got him going a little. He got in a nice rhythm in the second half and played well defensively ... All around a really great effort by the team."
On Kyle Smyth:" I think it was his best game for us."
On Maayan's defense:"It's tough being a freshman in this league and the way were depending on him. He's a little run down mentally, physically hes run down, he let the guy beat him where we gave up the 3, but he told me he wouldn't let that happen again and I said, "Go ahead." Willard then went on to speak about Maayan's development and how a lot of the offense was originally designed to be run through Patrik Auda.
On ending a 33-day winless drought: "This win reminds me of my second year at Louisville. We were playing Tennesse, down 6, and me and Mick [Cronin] were getting a look from Rick [Pitino], Mick and I knew our lives were pretty much over" After Louisville's comeback: "Mick and I kind of look at each other... lets just say there wasn't enough beer in town to stop us."
"I'm hitting the road recruiting for the next 3-4 days -- leave tomorrow morning. I'm going home to kiss my wife and my kids then I'm going to pack my bags."
Quotes from Kevin Willard, Fuquan Edwin, Aaron Cosby and Tom Maayan after the game, courtesy of Jerry Carino:
Kevin Willard: "It's been 33 days. It's been 33 tough days. There's been smiles, but they're not the smiles I saw back there (in the locker room), which is really nice."
On the game-winning sequence: "It was a real good job by Tommy to make the pass after the steal. The last four minutes he did a great job. He really bothered Ryan (Arcidiacono), made him make some tough shots . . . He is our best on-ball defender."
On Aaron Cosby's effort: "What I'm real proud of, AC, when he did turn the ball over, he didn't let it affect his game at all. Every time he turned it over, I thought he bounced back with a huge play for us. That's what I'm really proud of. Sometimes he gets a little down on himself when he makes a mistake. (Tonight) he looked over and said, ‘My bad,' and made something good happen. He played terrific."
On Eugene Teague and why they took so many threes: "His ankle, he tweaked it in the Louisville game. His ankle is pretty swollen. When we don't have him to get the ball into, it's difficult. But I think we did a good job of driving and kicking."
On Kyle Smyth: "This was the best game I've ever seen him play. His charges, his hustle, his determination to get a win was really enthusiastic."
"These guys have been resilient all year. The fact that they're still fighting the way they are shows a lot about their character and a lot about this team. Sometimes wins and losses don't show it, but this team has a lot of character."
On Brian Oliver: "Brian and I had a great talk the other day. I understood his message, he understood mine. He's been terrific since then."
On playing 39 minutes vs. Nova's pressure: "I got tired toward the end of the second half, I started cramping...I was just like, ‘Not again. We've got to find a way to get a win.' . . . "It was really exhausting, especially since I had to deal with Louisville's pressure 48 hours ago."
"It felt like a hundred pounds off our backs. It felt like a blessing, that we've had such a tough year but we could stick together and get a win like this."
On the postgame mood: "Everybody was jumping up and down. It was like nothing before today mattered once we got into the locker room."
On what he would like to say about the transfer speculation: "None of it has come from me. It's all speculation, and people assuming things. My whole focus is winning games and sticking with my teammates. None of that came from my mouth."
On the final sequence: "Coach wanted a trap without fouling. Tommy managed to do that. He made a great steal and not only a steal, but as he was falling down he could have walked. I didn't want to go for two. My shot was feeling good all game. When I saw I had an opportunity like that I took advantage of it."
"It feels good because it's been a rough year, it's been a down year for us. It feels good to get a win, especially like that."
On the final sequence: "Coach said just trap the first pass. That's what we did. It was just good instinct that we had, me and Fu. I was happy I came up with the play and Fu hit a big shot to win the game."
"As soon as I caught the ball I saw Fu in the corner and I said, ‘That's the best we can get out of it.' He's a great shooter and I definitely wanted him to take the last shot on our team."
Interesting Stats & Notes:
- Less than 24 hours after rumors of a pending transfer conjured up by Steve Politi, Aaron Cosby played 39 minutes and led all scorers with 21 points. He also contributed 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Workhorse.
- Seton Hall shot 62% (13-21) from deep last night. Live
- KenPom predicted a 66-64 Villanova win. Seton Hall won 66-65. Fuquan factor.
- 33. Seton Hall hadn't recorded a win in over 33 days before last night's win.
- 9 years, 5 days. Seton Hall's last win against Villanova was on February 21st, 2004.