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The Day After: Pirates Defeat Demons in Decision

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Make sure to check out the Gonzo Ball feature on the newest Seton Hall commit Eugene McCrory. 

Seton Hall held off a valiant effort from DePaul in Newark on Sunday as the Blue Demons pulled within 4 points with just 20 seconds to go.  Was it a case of the Pirates becoming complacent after building a 15 point halftime cushion or is the separation between the 5-7 Pirates and the 1-11 Demons minimal?  It is the toughest conference in the nation, but I'm going to chalk it up to a case of The Hall playing down to their competition.  Should it happen again, their unlikely to record another victory the rest of the way.  With just 6 left to play, it's time to play like every game is their last.  Not for 20 minutes, but for 40.  

GB's initial post game thoughts here:

Despite having the Blue Demons on the ropes several times, the Pirates kept them at arm's length with little jabs, instead of going in for the KO, they decided to play it safe and settle for a decision.  As we've seen all season, the Pirates won't win many decisions and they certainly won't win any on the road.  Get to work gentlemen.

SHU Athletics recap:

The Seton Hall men's basketball team earned its fifth straight home win after topping DePaul, 79-71, on Sunday. The Pirates improve to 14-9 overall and 5-7 in BIG EAST play.

Junior Jeremy Hazell (Harlem, N.Y.) led the way with 18 points. Sophomore Jeff Robinson (Trenton, N.J.) had his second straight solid outing, scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 24 minutes of action.

Depaul Athletics failed to mention that it was 20th consecutive road loss for the Blue Demons in their recap:

DePaul stayed within a dozen points over the remainder of the afternoon and pulled within five on a three-pointer by Kelly midway through the second half. Seton Hall then scored the game's next seven points to increase the advantage to 12 points with a 68-56 lead at the seven-minute mark.

Hmm, I wonder if this writer even watched the game, I mean, there's no mention that they were within 4 with 20 seconds to go! If you relied on this recap, you'd have no idea how close this game really was. 

In Brendan Prunty's game recap, Jeremy Hazell's saying all the right things:

"At the end of the first half we were up 15 and we thought we had it," said Hazell, who led Seton Hall (14-9, 5-7) with 18 points. "But we came out nonchalant and they got themselves back in the game. So we've just got to learn from that. That when you're up 15, we've got to just keep the pedal to the metal. Just push it and not let them get it back down to single digits."

It's the right thing for Hazell to say it following the team's performance, but isn't this something the Pirates should have acted on in the second half? It's the Big East, I don't care if the opponent has one victory, you don't ease up.

And Prunty's tip-in:

Keon Lawrence (8 pts., 4 reb.): I know Gonzalez likes his effort on defense (even though Sunday wasn't exactly Exhibit A), but his willingness to stick with him throughout a game is puzzling. He brings next to nothing on offense and is gobbling up minutes from better offensive players when Seton Hall needs that most.

Agreed! Why is Robert Mitchell still being shafted on playing time? He played 8 minutes yesterday, just 8.  He also finished with 8 points while recording 6 in less than 2 minutes when he entered the game in the first half.  I understand Keon has adapted the role of defensive specialist this season, but there comes a point when Bobby needs to get a better offensive weapon on the floor.  Mitchell has hit many big shots this season, including jumpers to end Notre Dame and DePaul runs over the course of the last two games.  Stix also isn't a slouch defensively as his length makes him one of our better perimeter defenders.  Our best lineup remains one of our rarest this season: Harvey, Hazell, Stix, JRob, Pope. 

Seton Hall survives another scare, writes Paul Tyahla of NJ.com:

Despite the uninspired half, the Pirates can walk away from their two-game home stand knowing they won both "should-win" games, and partially recovered from their devastating road swing.

Lenn Robbins reports on the DePaul victory while taking a look forward to St. John's on Wednesday with Jeremy Hazell:

The focus now is on the next road game -- St. John's (14-10, 4-8), who defeated Notre Dame 69-68 last night.

"We could always get up for that game," said Hazell. "We could be retired, but when you know you're playing against St. John's and that's a rivalry game, you know that we could get up for that one knowing that we're playing against people that we know from the city."

Please don't play like you're retired, I've got a feeling we're going to need Jeremy's scoring touch in order to pull off the first road win of the season.