NEWARK (N.J.) — It wasn’t easy and it certainly wasn’t pretty, but No. 10 Seton Hall pulled out their tenth consecutive win in a 64-57 rock fight with DePaul.
The streak reaches double digits. Now winners in ten straight, Seton Hall’s streak is unmatched since 1992-93, when that team won 12. Looking way ahead, the Pirates can best that in wild fashion should they head to Villanova after wins against Xavier and Georgetown. Talk about a storyline.
Myles Powell took this game over and then some. As a whole he had an off-night littered with inefficiencies and some head-scratching misses at the free throw line, but he took over when his back was up against the wall. Powell scored nine unanswered to flip the score from a 51-49 deficit to a 58-51 lead, passing Greg Tynes — who was present tonight — into fourth on the all-time scoring list. It does seem like Powell’s milestones this year are coming at key moments.
Trailing 41-37 with 13:42 to play after an and-one play from Powell, Seton Hall played a memorable defensive possession. And the crowd played a big part too. Sensing the urgency after just trailing by nine, they sprang to their feet and got loud, invoking the defense to force a DePaul shot clock violation. The play would come at the front end of a 4.5-minute DePaul drought that saw Seton Hall trail by just a point at its end, rejuvenating a stagnant team. The crowd gets a major assist tonight.
It bodes well that Seton Hall can win games like this. For the better part of 15 minutes starting with nine to play in the first half, Seton Hall played their worst stretch of offensive basketball since at least Maryland. Between the missed free throws, three pointers, and litany of officiating mistakes on both ends — the stretch of play was very forgettable and yielded a 29-10 surge from DePaul. All that said, this team somehow still dug deep and got it done against a DePaul team that has struggled in league play but is much-improved from years past.
Sandro Mamukelashvili’s return to the floor was also forgettable. The big man checked in at the start of Seton Hall’s offensive woes and was minus-six by the end of the half, although he was far from the primary culprit. The Georgian import had the crowd holding their breath when he fell to the court and then the basket support in a span of 60 seconds — he wouldn’t see the court in the second half. There are greener pastures ahead for Sandro.