A 13-2 Butler run to end the game coupled with just two made Seton Hall baskets over the last 5:55 of play sealed the home team's fate and gave Butler their first Big East road win, 64-57.
Seton Hall captain Fuquan Edwin (20 pts, 6 stls) powered the team's offense in the first half by scoring 15 of the Pirates' 31 half time points while adding 4 steals and a block. Center Gene Teague (13 pts, 6 rebs) and the reformed Brandon Mobley (10 pts, 10 rebs, 5 blks) also drove the Seton Hall attack in the first half, joining Edwin to score the Pirates' first 20 points.
Seton Hall trailed by a point at the break despite slow starts from Kellen Dunham (9 pts) and Khyle Marshall (13 pts), the latter of which sat for the final 8:30 due to foul trouble. Dunham was off of his game until late in the second half due to hound-like defense from Edwin, resulting in the majority of Butler's scoring coming from usual bench players Andrew Chrabascz (11 pts) and Elijah Brown (12 pts).
After the break, two quick Patrik Auda (0 pts, 2 rebs) fouls relegated him to the bench in favor of the focused Brandon Mobley for the rest of the game. Auda was assertive on offensive early in the game, but went 0-6 from the field and quickly lost his confidence. Seton Hall jumped out to a 46-40 advantage six minutes into the second half by way of a 13-2 run, but quickly allowed Butler to respond with a 10-2 run of their own into the under-8 media timeout.
Holding a two-point advantage minutes later, Fuquan Edwin successfully stripped Butler at half court two out of three possessions. Somehow, Edwin somehow failed to convert easy layup attempts after both steals, leaving sure points off the scoreboard. This was the start of a final 5:55 of play that Seton Hall would score just five points, two Sterling Gibbs (7 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts) baskets, amidst a litany of offensive miscues. Turnovers on inbound passes, stagnant 35-second possessions that resulted in contested jump shots, 1-on-1 contested shots early in the shot clock, missed open shots. You name it, the Pirates did it (or failed to do it) down the stretch on the offensive side of the ball.
After remaining quiet for the first 35 minutes of play, Butler's go-to scorer Kellen Dunham knocked down back-to-back three-pointers over the last 4:11 of play and Butler hit 5-of-6 free throws while Seton Hall failed to execute with the ball in their hands, ultimately sealing the game's fate. Sterling Gibbs missed three consecutive contested shots in the lane in Seton Hall's attempt to tie the game with the score at 59-57, and their fruitless effort to score quick baskets while trailing 61-57 and 63-57.
Gibbs' very late game failure to convert was not the root of the problem, as the team's offense stagnated minutes before after a promising 13-2 run put Seton Hall six points in the lead. What is troubling is Seton Hall's lack of a rhythm on offense, a sometimes foggy offensive strategy, and their immunity to running set plays when they need them most.
The loss drops Seton Hall to 3-5 in the Big East and 12-9 overall, preventing them from their first back-to-back Big East wins since 2012. Butler's win was their first on the road in the Big East (ever), and just their second Big East win this season.
In their next game, the Pirates travel to the Cintas Center to take on Xavier (15-5, 5-2) at noon on Saturday.