Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Seton Hall could have easily experienced a letdown playing a noon game against Delaware on Saturday after pulling off victories over USC and Virginia Tech in Puerto Rico.
But the Pirates came up with big plays down the stretch and downed the Blue Hens 75-70 at the Prudential Center to improve to 5-1 on the season.
“I’m just happy we found a way to win, but believe me we’re going to have to play better next time out,” Pirates coach Bobby Gonzalez told WABC radio. “We’re going to have to use this to teach; we got some work to do.
“It might have been good for us, to be honest with you, to get our attention. I’m not saying we were overconfident or relaxed because we beat Virginia Tech or USC. That’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to get exposed sometimes, and you’re not going to play great every night out.”
Jeremy Hazell led the Pirates with 17 points, Eugene Harvey scored 13 of his 15 in the second half and John Garcia and Jordan Theodore added 13 points apiece. GArcia added seven rebounds
Marc Egerson paced the Blue Hens with 20 points and 14 boards.
Seton Hall trailed by 11 early and by 7 at the half.
“I don’t know if it was our inactivity, we just looked sluggish,” Gonzalez said. “We couldn’t make a shot.”
Gonzalez switched from man-to-man to a 1-2-2 zone and relied on just six players down the stretch.
In the second half, Seton Hall attacked the basket more and got back in the game.
“In man-to-man, they were just too quick for us,” Gonzalez said. “We couldn’t stop their dribble penetration…We had to do a better job guarding the basketball.”
The game was tied at 67 with 3:15 remaining, but the Pirates closed the game on an 8-3 spurt, getting a key basket from Harvey and three of four foul shots down the stretch from Theodore.
With Seton Hall up 69-68, Harvey drove left and hit a bank shot that made it 71-68.
After Theodore made 1-of-2 foul shots to make it 73-70 with 13.8 seconds left, Delaware’s Jawan Carter had an open look at a game-tying 3-pointer but missed. Edwin Santiago gathered the rebound but missed a desperation 3.
Theodore hit two more foul shots with .1 seconds left for the final points of the game.
“Jordan Theodore makes big plays,” Gonzalez said.
(Photo courtesy Seton Hall athletics)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.