Blackjack's Blog: Seton Hall Downs Marquette at the Rock. Improves to 4-0
NEWARK,NJ- Despite a hot start by Pre-Season All-American candidate G Markus Howard (27 points), the Seton Hall Pirates won for the sixth-straight time to improve to 12-4 (4-0 Big East). In a match that saw the upper dome of The Prudential Center opened up as fans clamor to watch the improving Pirates team, it took a complete team effort to beat a feisty Marquette team.
The Pirates, as usual, were led by their own Pre-Season All-American candidate Myles Powell (23 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists) but this game was a bit different as the whole team contributed to the winning effort. Senior C Romaro Gill had his second straight double-digit scoring effort (10 points) while fellow 7’2 C Ike Obiagu added 6 points and 4 rebounds while both continue to man the middle while either blocking shots are forcing their opponents to alter their shots. Freshman F Tyrese Samuel added 8 points and 5 rebounds and sophomore PG Anthony Nelson had his best game of the season thus far with 6 points and 2 assists. Senior PG Quincy McKnight (4 points, 4 rebounds & 6 assists) and G Shavar Reynolds Jr. amped up the defense in the 2nd half against Howard as the Golden Eagles never really challenged the Pirates in the 2nd half. Aside from Howard, G Sacar Anim added 9 points and 4 rebounds as G Koby McEwen scored 8 points with 3 assists. F Brendan Bailey added 4 points with 11 rebounds.
The key once again for the Pirates is their ferocious defense. The team continuously holds their opponent to a final score way below their season average. McKnight, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, continues to set the tone for the team on the perimeter while bigs Gill and Obiagu do their thing in the middle with Samuel getting more involved each game. Coach Kevin Willard and Myles Powell himself acknowledged the defensive effort of Shavar Reynolds Jr. who’s becoming a defensive force to spell McKnight while not dropping the intensity. During the presser, Coach Willard advised that Powell is roughly 85% back from his concussion that led him to miss two games. Furthermore, PF Sandro Mamukelashvili aims at an early February return. The Pirates 4-0 Big East Conference start matches that of the great team of 1992-93.
The Pirates travel to face #6 Butler on Wednesday, January 15th and then travel across the Hudson River to face local rival St. John’s on Saturday, January 18th.