Metaphorically speaking, Seton Hall's conclave emitted black smoke from The Worlds Most Famous Arena tonight; the conclave will reconvene tomorrow - the Pirates' season will continue.
Seton Hall will indeed live to see another day, as they outlasted South Florida in OT by a score of 46 - 42. Seton Hall is now 23 - 30 all-time at the Big East Tournament and of those 53 Big East Championship tilts, tonight's match-up was probably the least sexy a Pirate fan can recall. Prior to tonight's game, South Florida and Seton Hall concluded underwhelming regular seasons going a combined 6 - 30 in conference play, so the sweet release from a season lost will likely be embraced by USF fans. For Seton Hall fans, that time has yet to come.
This game was as ugly as you'll ever see compliments of both the Seton Hall Pirates and the South Florida Bulls. Zach LeDay, however, had a huge night for the Bulls, scoring 13 points and grabbing 15 boards; single handedly, he crushed the Pirates on the boards. For the first time in quite some time, the Pirates biggest issue wasn't turnovers (13) it was the margin they were out-rebounded on the offensive boards. Seton Hall was tattooed on the offensive glass by a factor of 3; South Florida had 21 to Seton Hall's 7. Perhaps the most stunning number to me, however, was that USF lead the vast majority of the game and they shot 24% from the field. TWENTY. FOUR. PERCENT. Their offensive rebounding prowess was so significant, they were able to heave up sixty-six total shots (to Seton Hall's 44).
Fuquan Edwin (17 points) proved to be the most dominant player on the floor at the end of regulation, scoring the final six points to put the game in overtime. Gene Teague was a beast down low yet again, as he tallied his fifth double double of the year (14 points and 10 rebounds). When Seton Hall went back to running the offense through him, they made a run late in the second half to cut into the USF lead; I'm not sure why it took so long to make this adjustment, as South Florida's perimeter defense was clearly ready for Seton Hall.
At the half, USF held a 20 - 17 lead. That's 37 total points, for those without their abacus. In the first twenty minute frame, Seton Hall went roughly 9 minutes without a field goal. That's right, about 25% of the game, without a field goal. In fact, with just 2:50 left in regulation, the Pirates had 29 points but not to be outdone, South Florida allowed the Pirates Back in, untimely sending the opening game of the BET into overtime, 37 - 37. The lowest scoring game in the history of the Big East tournament was in 2003 when Georgetown beat Villanova 46 - 41... in regulation.
With the win tonight, Seton Hall will face fifth-seeded Syracuse tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/13/13) at 2:00 pm. Coming off their lowest point total in the Jim Boeheim era (Georgetown 61 - Syracuse 39), and having lost four of their final 5 games in conference play, the Orange will look to get healthy against the wounded Pirates.
HAZARD ZET FORWARD