In First Game of Post-Sina Era, Seton Hall Loses Again | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / September 27.
  • In First Game of Post-Sina Era, Seton Hall Loses Again

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    NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at ProvidenceBy BRENDAN McGAIR

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Despite all the turbulence surrounding his Seton Hall team this week, Kevin Willard’s crew had an actual honest-to-goodness chance to defeat Providence on Saturday night.

    The quest to return to playing winning basketball will have to wait a little bit longer as the Pirates dropped a 69-62 decision to the Friars at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

    Seton Hall led 48-47 with 5:40 left as PC played close to six minutes with key sophomore Kris Dunn, who sat with four fouls. Dunn’s re-entry helped galvanize the Friars, who hit seven of their final eight shots.

    Seton Hall (15-10, 5-8 Big East) trailed by seven points when Dunn took a seat. Though the Pirates were able to eventually get over the hump behind an 11-3 surge, Willard thought that the Friars were able to get off light despite not having the services of one of their top players for a long stretch.

    “We had some opportunities to make some shots and we tried to rush (PC freshman point guard Kyron Cartwright), but we turned the ball over too much,” said Willard, whose team committed 19 turnovers.

    The Pirates have now dropped four straight Big East games and seven of nine overall. Things won’t get any easier with upcoming road games at Villanova and at St. John’s, which won at Xavier, 78-70, earlier Saturday.

    Seton Hall’s struggles reached boiling levels this week when sophomore guard Jaren Sina announced that he would be transferring. It was a tough blow for a Seton Hall outfit that was nationally ranked as recent as the week of Jan. 19.

    Instead of continuing to stockpile wins in the hope of bolstering the program’s NCAA Tournament hopes – Seton Hall has not participated in March Madness since 2006 – the Pirates are looking to their collection of young and promising players with the hope that they can somehow right the ship down the stretch. At one point Saturday, Willard had four freshmen on the floor.

    “Everything that’s out there is just … I have a great group of guys who have been playing hard all year. We’re just young right now,” said Willard. “Obviously we lost one of our players and decided to transfer in Jaren, but we wish him the best.”

    Three of those freshmen wound up logging more than 25 minutes against PC: Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado and Isaiah Whitehead. Delgado nearly notched his ninth double-double with eight points and 15 rebounds while Whitehead led the Pirates with 20 points.

    “No matter what, you’re going to go through it as a freshman,” said Willard. “I want them to learn now so they don’t have to go through it again. I’m proud of all my young guys; they’re doing a great job.”

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    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.