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Big East quarterfinal: Seton Hall 81, Creighton 73

March 11, 2016 Columns No Comments
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NEW YORK – A few quick thoughts on Seton Hall’s 81-73 quarterfinal win over Creighton. It was game four of the day at the Garden. As the clock (nearly) struck midnight, the Pirates joined Villanova, Providence and Xavier in the Big East Tournament ‘final four’, with semifinals to be played on Friday night.

A few quick thoughts:

  • Toughness. Kept thinking back to Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski’s statement after the loss to Xavier, “the Big East is a man’s league.” Seton Hall toughed this out. A 44-18 percent advantage in offensive rebounding percentage and a “raw” figure of 45 boards to the 25 of Creighton. That is toughness personified and a difference in a hotly contested game.
  • The Hall enjoyed a 43 percent free throw rate (25 free throws attempted divided by 55 field goals attempted). A lot of that relates to rebounding. Grab 14 boards on the offensive end, as the Hall did, and you put yourself in a position to draw fouls.
  • Creighton cared for the ball with an excellent 16 percent turnover rate. That, and a 35-point explosion by Cole Huff, prevented the Pirates from pulling away when it appeared Kevin Willard’s club was ready to make its move.
  • Isaiah Whitehead scored 24 points, adding a game-high dozen boards from the guard spot. It was also a big night on the ‘big stage’ for Seton Hall’s Khadeen Carrington with a team-high 27 points.
  • What a difference a year makes! Last season Seton Hall ended its campaign with an ugly, lopsided loss in the first round of the Big East Tournament against Marquette. It ended a season that started on a great note but flamed out due to issues on and off the floor. Now, the Hall is in the Big East semis and looms a dangerous draw in the Big Dance.
  • Seton Hall is 22-8 while the Bluejays dropped to 18-13 and still having a chance to extend their season.

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