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Seton Hall struggles in second half in loss to Louisville

Late shooting struggles resulted in Seton Hall falling to Louisville 70-65 at the Prudential Center.

Going into the 2018-2019 season, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard knew he had some questions to answer. Who would be the go-to player for the Pirates? Where would the rebounding come from after losing Angel Delgado? After losing four seniors, Seton Hall had much to figure out in this new era of Pirate basketball. Heading into their matchup against Louisville, the Pirates were still finding their identity in many aspects of their game.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, their return home was an unsuccessful one as they fell to Louisville 70-65 in front of a big crowd at the Prudential Center on Saturday.

It was a tale of two teams in the first half for Seton Hall. The first ten minutes of the first half for the Pirates was a superb display of ball movement and energy as they jumped out to an early lead against the Cardinals. They pressed the Cardinals early as the game looked like it would be an early knockout for Seton Hall. The second half of the first half turned drasctically as Louisville went on a 12-3 run to cut the Pirates’ lead to one point.

The rest of the first half saw a back and forth battle between the teams. Seton Hall’s shot selection became an issue as Louisville took a 36-34 lead into halftime. Myles Powell scored nine points in the first 20 minutes of play as Seton Hall dominated points in the paint, but struggled with a minus-6 disadvantage in rebounding.

Powell turned it up in the second half scoring eight points early in the half to put The Hall ahead. Once again shot selection became an issue as the Pirates went over three minutes without a point. A 1-for-10 shooting drought for Seton Hall gave the Lousiville (5-2) new life, and they took advantage as they took the lead 61-59 with under four minutes to go.

After being held scoreless in the first half, Ryan McMahon scored nine points in the pivotal second half for Louisville. A bevy of missed close shots was Seton Hall’s Achilles heel in the second half. The Pirates (4-3) shot just 33 percent in the second half, including only 10 percent from beyond the arc. Powell finished with 23 points but shot 6-for-19 from the field and 2-of-12 from three-point land.

“Getting this group to understand time and score, and opportunities, there’s no better way to do it [than] against these teams,” said Willard after the game. “They made good plays and we didn’t.”

Dwyane Sutton led the Cardinals’ balanced attack with 12 points as Louisville dominated the boards winning the rebounding battle 42-28. Sandro Mamukelashvili ten points and six rebounds while senior Michael Nezi added 12 for the Pirates.

What’s Next For The Pirates

Seton Hall next takes the floor as they welcome New Hampshire to The Rock on Tuesday. Gametime is set for 6:30 p.m. and the action can be seen on FS1.

Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow DoubleGSports.com writer Jason Cordner.
Kahlil Thomas

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