by Ray Floriani
NEWARK, NJ- Christmas week brought a 'tour of the Atlantic Ten' to the Prudential Center. Seton Hall hosted Dayton on Wednesday and Richmond Sunday. Both games saw the Pirates enjoy half time leads only to be reeled in and out played the final twenty minutes. And both losses left Pirate coach Kevin Willard pondering the Hall's immediate future.
The Four Factors:
The Hall led 40-26 at the break and appeared to be in full control. The all important first four minutes of the second half saw Dayton get out to an 11-6 advantage. With 16 minutes to play the margin was suddenly a manageable nine points. Dayton also scored four field goals, with three coming in the paint. A point of concern Hall coach Kevin Willard referred to after the contest.
Willard also had a concern about the rebounding. Dayton was tough on the boards and attacked the glass as OREB percentage shows. Matt Kavanaugh, a 6-9 sophomore, epitomized the Flyer effort coming off the bench for a team high 15 points while adding 7 rebounds.
Four Pirates were in double figures led by Jeff Robinson's 15 points. Jordan Theodore scored 13 points with 5 assists but greater defensive attention on the part of the Dayton guards in that final half, saw Theodore wind up shooting 5 of 13 from the floor.
Dayton had 70 possessions with a 99 OE. The Hall matched the offensive efficiency (OE) with 99 on 66 possessions. Those final twenty minutes Brian Gregory's club clearly set the pace with a 123-71 OE advantage.
Efficiencies for the game:
The Four Factors:
The Hall led 35-30 at the half but was unable to close the issue. This was a point discussed by coach Kevin Willard after the Dayton game as well as after this one. Seton Hall is simply unable to sustain the effort the full forty minutes. That is a point that must be addressed and altered for the Hall to start winning games of this nature against formidable opposition.
Willard was concerned that as the offense lagged the second half, the defense followed. Entering the game the Hall's defensive efficiency was a very creditable 89. This afternoon, it was 16 above average.
Herb Pope is still rounding into condition. The Pirates' junior forward did give a nice 9 point 12 rebound (team leading) effort in 28 minutes. Pope seems to be attacking the glass more aggressively the last two outings. A good sign.
Hall did a good job forcing the pace and getting in the lane against the Richmond defense, especially the first half. Willard noted that defensive letdowns in the second half hindered the offense. "It's hard to run when you are waiting for the ball to get through the net," he said.
Hall had three in double figures. Once again Jeff Robinson had an active 17 point 10 board effort. Jordan Theodore scored 15 points while Fuquan Edwin added a dozen.
Edwin's added minutes and the experience the freshman swingman is getting are a silver lining in the Jeremy Hazell injury.
Willard said an early January decision will be made regarding Hazell's return or medical red shirt. "We will do what benefits Jeremy the best," Willard said.
Richmond's OREB percentage margin is 25-29%. Simply they are -4 in the percentage margin (their minus that of the opposition). Hall enjoyed a healthy advantage in that area and had a 16-7 edge in second chance points.
Justin Harper led all scorers with 24 points. Richmond's 6-9 senior forward is effective inside or on the perimeter. Harper hit 6 of 8 from three and added a team high 8 rebounds.
Richmond entered with a 44% two point field goal percentage defense. Seton Hall shot an outstanding 68% from two the first half. Pirates cooled off, credit Richmond's defense, the second half finishing with a 41% mark for the contest.
The Final Five Minutes:
Taking a cue from Chris DiSano's "Ice Water in the Veins" article on College Chalktalk last season, is a possession breakdown showing how Mooney's club sealed the deal in the stretch.
Seton Hall led 59-57 with five minutes remaining. The results of those last possessions...
|1.||field goal (Harper 2pt)||turnover|
|2.||field goal (Harper 3pt)||Miss (defensive reb)|
|3.||field goal (Garrett 2pt)||turnover|
|4.||Miss (defensive reb)||field goal (Robinson 2pt)|
|5.||field goal (Anderson 2pt)||Miss (defensive reb)|
|6.||field goal (Anderson 3pt)||Miss (defensive reb)|
|Total||12 points||2 points|
Seton Hall is 6-6, Richmond improves to 10-3. South Florida visit's the Rock on Tuesday to open Big East play. Willard reemphasized that "we have to make plays at the end of the game. Plays on the defensive end."
Hall finished 1-4 against A-10 opposition. They defeated UMASS on the road while losing at Temple, to Xavier on a neutral court and Dayton and Richmond at home. "In all our losses this season," Willard said, "we had a chance to win. We were right in the game."