Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: At the Big East Day 1

by Ray Floriani

NEW YORK CITY - The first round of the Big East tournament concluded with three top seeds advancing. The only upset was St. John’s over UCONN in a surprisingly lopsided contest. The scores:

TeamScore TeamScore
South Florida58DePaul49
St. John’s73UConn51
Seton Hall109Providence106

The game of the night. An easy one Seton Hall’s 109-106 win over Providence. And we did not forget the ’OT’, this was a regulation game. The numbers in an 88 possession ’track meet’.

Seton Hall12458463314

The Hall led by 29 (76-47) with just over thirteen and a half minutes to play. Providence coach Keno Davis simply implored his team to plat hard to the end. Once the deficit was a manageable 12-14 the Friars used a press that forced a few turnovers. A few threes went down. The Friars hit the offensive glass with a vengeance. In the final minutes it was a two possession game.

Seton Hall had a high free throw rate but did miss 14 from the line (31-45). Jeff Robinson missed a pair with seven seconds to go. The Friars had a great look from three but Duke Mondy missed and Eugene Harvey grabbed the miss as time expired.

Sophomore forward Jamine Peterson was outstanding for the Friars. He led all scorers with 38 points, added 16 rebounds and had 4 assists. Peterson logged 39 minutes and had 10 offensive boards, many of them during the Friar’s late game surge. Bilal Dixon, another sophomore forward, added 16 points , 12 boards for Providence.

Both teams placed five players in double figures. Herb Pope led the Hall with 27 points, 11 boards while Jordan Theodore had an excellent 21 point 6 assist night.

Turnover rate figures were very good for both teams given the rapid rate of the game. Several of Seton Hall’s dozen TOs were crucial as they came when Providence made that huge run. Friars also owned a 23-12 offensive board advantage as exemplified by the Offensive Rebound (OR%) percentage.

While the game was not the equal of last year’s 6 OT classic it will go down as one of the most memorable in Big East Tournament lore. It is the first time both teams cracked the century mark in regulation.

Providence finished 12-19 while the Hall improved to 19-11.

“It was kind of two different games. We got out and played great…with the three point line and 35 second shot clock the game is never safe today. The game is never over until that clock runs down.” - Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez

“The last month we played a stretch of top ten and bubble teams. I am pleased though with the progress and improvement of our young players. We have a good nucleus here. “ - Providence coach Keno Davis

Seton Hall cheerleaders
can breathe easier and smile after the final buzzer sounded

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