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Seton Hall Basketball: Final - Xavier 57, Seton Hall 52, Second Half Effort Falls Short in Paradise

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-It's too bad that a college basketball game consists of two halves.  If the Pirates played as well in the first as they did after intermission, this game wouldn't have been all that close.  After a first half performance that was nothing short of abysmal, Seton Hall put forth a tremendous second half effort that saw them pull even with the Musketeers with just 40 seconds remaining. 

-With 42 seconds on the clock and Seton Hall facing a three point deficit, Jamel Jackson hit the biggest shot of his career draining a 3PT shot from the corner, tying the game for the first time since Xavier took the lead with 10 minutes in the first half. Not to be outdone by JJax's thrilling game-tying trey, the player of the tournament, Tu Holloway hit an impossible 3PT shot, leaning backwards no less, giving Xavier the lead for good.  Goodnight.

-Holloway was simply unreal tonight, finishing with 31PTs on 9-of-16 shooting.  Every time the Pirates made a run, Tu would respond with a huge shot of his own.  As bad as Keon Lawrence has played this season, he couldn't have played better defense on Holloway's game winning 3PT bucket.  Kudos for Willard for having confidence to stick with Keon in that spot, despite a bad night on both ends from his senior. I know I wouldn't have.  Lawrence continued to struggle tonight (20MIN/0PTS/3TO), failing to record a point when the Pirates desperately needed their teammates to step up in Hazell's absence.  Despite a lack of offensive production, Keon's defense also continues to be a liability (last play of the game withstanding) as both he and Jordan Theodore were beat off the dribble by the Xavier guards all night long. 

-Xavier was about ready to put the game away as they extended their lead to 9 points on a Mark Lyons 3PT shot, before Herb Pope, sparked a 6-0 Seton Hall run, converting three consecutive layups that pulled the Pirates within 3 with 5 minutes remaining.  Pope played terrific basketball in the second half, between his individual 6PT run, crucial rebounds and his defensive effort against the 7 foot Frease.  Herb finished with 10PTS on 4-of-10 shooting.  His field goal percentages would have been a bit better if he hadn't launched 4 3PT attempts in the first half.  Those have got to stop.

-An emotional Jeff Robinson, added 15 PTS on 6-of-11, 2-of-4 3PT shooting, however, his troubling rebound trend continued as he only pulled down 4 boards.  His decline in rebounding is a direct result of the time he's spending around the perimeter and away from the rim.  He is hitting his treys, but without Robinson's body inside, one of the Pirates most proficient rebounders is often absent from the paint.  

-For the second consecutive game, Jordan Theodore added 11PTS, despite shooting just 3-of-12 from the floor.  JT did have a balanced night adding 6REB/4AST/STL/TO. 

-The freshman, Fuquan Edwin, continued to impress tonight, showing his poise hitting 2 late FTs to pull the Pirates within 1 point with 4 minutes remaining.  He finished a few difficult reverse layups, something his teammates absolutely would benefit learning from.   FUQ'ED's line on the night was 11PTS on 4-of-8 shooting, adding 2REB/2STL/AST.   His defense continues to be a bright spot on this team as he's dangerously quick jumping into passing lanes. 

-Patrik Auda and Ferrakohn Hall were held scoreless, while Eniel Polynice continues his quiet, poor shooting Seton Hall career adding another 1-of-6 night. 

-With Jeremy out 4-6 weeks, it's rather apparent this team is in dire need of a leader.  It's also apparent that the Pirates didn't have one show up tonight.

-Seton Hall will take on Clemson at 6PM EST tomorrow in the Paradise Jam's 3rd/5th place consolation game.