Seton Hall clawed back from a 13-point first half deficit to take the lead early in the second but instantly collapsed and relinquished a 27-3 run that powered Butler to a 77-57 romp at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday.
Brandon Mobley led Seton Hall with 15 points (6-12 fg) and four rebounds while five Butler players scored in double figures including 16 points from Andrew Chrabascz and 15 from Kellen Dunham.
Butler started the better team than Seton Hall and exhibited a fluid offense that ate the Pirates up over the first 12 minutes of the game and produced a 13-point lead prior to the under-eight timeout. The Bulldogs assisted on 10 of their 12 first half assists and went on a 19-5 run after Seton Hall lead 7-6. Andrew Chrabascz got off to a hot start for Butler and matched Seton Hall's point total when they were stuck on 13.
After challenging his team's toughness in the huddle when down 13, Seton Hall then closed the half on a tide-turning 16-4 run prior to Alex Barlow nailing a wide-open three with seconds to play. It wasn't the first open three-ball that Butler was able to create during the game. The big Pirate run was made possible by just one Bulldog field goal during the eight-plus minutes and several missed free throws. Butler hit just 16 of 31 on the day.
With newly found confidence after the half, Seton Hall drew four quick Butler fouls in a minute just prior to the under-16 timeout, signalling the changing of the game's momentum. After missing a handful of jumpers in the first half, Brandon Mobley then made consecutive threes that sandwiched the first media timeout and gave Seton Hall their first lead of the game at 37-34.
It would be their last.
Butler would kick off a 27-3 game-deciding run after Mobley's go-ahead shot that would span six and a half minutes of game clock and give them a commanding 61-40 lead just prior to the under-eight timeout. This time, Seton Hall would not have the drive to win the last eight minutes of a half.
Compounding his shot selection earlier in the game and visibly frustrated by the direction the game was headed, Mobley picked up a flagrant foul for pushing an opponent in the back when down 55-40. The foul didn't play a factor in the outcome of the game but was certainly troubling to see out of a senior leader.
Seton Hall (13-6, 3-4) has now dropped four of five games against Butler (15-6, 5-3) since the beginning of last season, have lost four of five overall, and have been run out of the building twice at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The team will have a lot to think about on a long bus ride north to Marquette for a game against a team that plays very hard and has a red-hot guard in Matt Carlino.