Let's face it, last night's game was not pretty for both sides. It was close and came down to the last few possessions, but it wasn't a highly-skilled Big East battle.
DePaul, who had been relying on their three-ball and had the 11th-best free throw percentage in the country shot 3 of 17 (17%) and 19 of 33 (57%), respectively. Seton Hall was an atrocious 1 of 16 from deep and assisted on just six buckets. DePaul had just four assists on their 18 field goals.
Not great basketball in a game that took nearly two and a half hours and had its share of monitor reviews.
That said, both teams had a chance to win and the Blue Demons took theirs. After the game, Jaren Sina and Brandon Mobley were clear about how DePaul won the key battles down the stretch.
Here's five times that Seton Hall failed to seize the moment:
DePaul's 10-0 run in the first half was a result of sloppy Seton Hall ball-handling. Haralds Karlis and Ismael Sanogo (second TO could have been credited to Rashed Anthony) turned it over four times in 1:45, directly resulting in DePaul turning a tied game at 16 into a 26-16 advantage.
The flurry of Blue Demon baskets were started by Haralds Karlis saving the ball under the Hall's basket and throwing it right to Jamee Crockett for the easiest dunk of his career. He then took a contested shot on a drive early in the shot clock that is chalked up on ESPN's play-by-play as a turnover. I don't necessarily disagree. Khadeen Carrington then took an off-balance shot in the lane five seconds into Seton Hall's next possession, something that Kevin Willard said hurt the team, especially late. On the Pirates' next possession, they again tried to score early in the shot clock with Ismael Sanogo throwing away a bounce pass five seconds into the shot clock. To cap off the 10-0 run, Sanogo threw a low bounce pass that Rashed Anthony couldn't handle 10 seconds into their next possession. Anthony picked up a foul and DePaul made their free throws seconds later.
DePaul's second run of the game came out of the halftime locker room and set the tone early in the second period. Mobley rimmed out on a drive with :25 on the shot clock, leading to a DePaul basket. He then missed again on a hook shot with :20 on the shot clock that was answered by a DePaul three-pointer. After a timeout, Carrington took a very tough shot on a drive with :20 on the clock. Another DePaul basket followed to complete the 7-0 push that could have featured better shot selection.
Failing to capitalize. After Seton Hall went up 55-47 following Jaren Sina's three-ball, Sterling Gibbs missed an open three on their next possession then Brandon Mobley missed the wide open three after a Delgado offensive board where he waited nearly two seconds before releasing his shot.
Following up on another empty DePaul possession, Jaren Sina turned it over after getting trapped, directly resulting in Jamee Crockett getting fouled by Carrington (they reviewed it for a flagrant) and kicking off DePaul's final 17-5 surge. Carrington was blocked on a baseline drive on Seton Hall's next trip up the court, which preceded Darrick Wood's big-time three that cut their deficit to three. The shot snapped a six-plus minute field goal drought for the visitors.
Carrington then uncharacteristically missed a pair of free throws after the under-four timeout prior to Angel Delgado splitting a pair. That's just one point in six possessions after building a lead. DePaul cut the lead to one after Delgado's trip to the line and as Mobley said post-game, it was a officially a "dogfight" at that point.
Continuing from the last bullet point, following Delgado's split pair of free throws, Kevin Willard subbed him out with two fouls and 3:13 to play, the score was 56-54 in the home team's favor. Seconds later, Billy Garrett Jr. was able to drive right to Seton Hall's tin between Carrington and Mobley and get fouled. With the score 58-55, Rashaun Stimage then scored off a weak side offensive board. Desi Rodriguez and Brandon Mobley had both closed on the shooter. Gibbs responded by missing a fairly-contested three from straight away after a simple screen. To take the lead, Darrick Wood scored another huge bucket, DePaul third basket in the paint after taking Angel Delgado out. Delgado then checked back in at the 1:47 mark, but Seton Hall wouldn't see another lead.
This seems like a tactical miscue from Kevin Willard. Delgado wasn't in foul trouble and had played around 31 minutes prior to being subbed out at a crucial point in the game. Willard said his freshman forward was the best player for him offensively, which makes the decision even stranger. Delgado made Seton Hall's only field goal after Jaren Sina's triple with over five minutes to play.
Final minute of play: Down 60-58 out of a timeout with a minute to play, Sterling Gibbs tried to create a shot for himself but missed a really tough one in the lane with Myke Henry playing good defense. Either Willard didn't draw up a play here or Gibbs failed to find a teammate on the fly after a high screen from Mobley.
Coming out of another timeout, Delgado scored on a tip-in to make it 61-60 and Seton Hall was able to get DePaul to put the ball on the floor after they inbounded. Jaren Sina had the ball in his hands on the ground but no timeout was called.
Then Aaron Simpson was nearly tied up when laying on the court (DePaul had the arrow). The Blue Demons finally got it across the timeline after 9.3 seconds of clock, provoking a monitor review.
To complete the fold down 62-60 and the shot clock off, Stephane Manga then failed to complete his pass to Angel Delgado after driving against DePaul's full court pressure. He could have went up for the lay up, but it looked like Myke Henry jarred Delgado just as the ball got to him. Jaren Sina was not as open in the corner as I thought he was live.
- Seton Hall took a handful of bad shots and didn't get in sync offensively as seen by their assist to turnover and assist to field goals made ratios, but they also missed some open shots and lay ins in the first half. An example being point #3 above.
- Shot selection was poor at times but more so due to when in the shot clock Seton Hall was attacking. The barrage of turnovers in the first half (#1) that provoked a 10-0 DePaul run occurred when the Hall really tried to push the tempo. They miss Isaiah Whitehead's quarterback-like outlet passes and his ability in transition.
- The early use of Sanogo (3 mins) and Karlis (1 min) hurt Willard last night, so I'll interested to see if he finally starts rolling with Desi Rodriguez for more extended periods of time. This trade-off in minutes also applies to Stephane Manga, who made a few mistakes in 13 minutes last night, but not someone I would blame for Seton Hall's shot at tying or winning the game. Sanogo's two turnovers are more understandable and the second wasn't a terrible pass, but he should have seen similar cameos earlier in the season instead of now.