Sunday, January 5, 2014

Seton Hall: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

South Orange/Newark - ­ The first Saturday of the New Year. The accent today is on ‘new.’ Seton Hall women and men will host Big East games against new conference members. The women entertained Butler, while Creighton visited the Rock.

The women played at noon on campus and following a late first half surge that puts them up eleven at the break, things go poorly over the final twenty minutes. Seton Hall cheer and dance teams left just after halftime to get to the men’s game and be ready to go.

That was far from the reason for the Hall’s demise. Butler simply came out more aggressive early on in the second half, and eventually earned a 75-­69 victory. Said head coach Tony Bozzella, “naturally, I’m disappointed, but at the same time, I’m pleased with our effort.”

Exiting Walsh around 2:30 for a 3 p.m. tip at the Rock, and the trip down South Orange Avenue is slow for a few blocks, then clears up near West Side High School, the alma mater of former Pirate great Richie Regan. Snow is not bad on the road, so yours truly pulled up at the Rock at five to three, got in for the tip and started charting possessions and shots.

Right away, I was enthralled with the fluid, constant motion and talented game of Creighton’s Doug McDermott. Seton Hall gave it all, but outside of a second half run, this is basically a double-digit difference in favor of the visitors, as Creighton claimed a 79-­66 decision.

The Hall is battling injuries, but with all due respect, Creighton is just a better club. McDermott is a marquee talent commanding the attendance of a number of NBA scouts. The veteran cast works very well together, and there are solid secondary contributors. A one-man team this is not. As Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said, “Creighton does not get credit for the outstanding defense they play.”

They will as they make their initial ‘tour’ of the Big East.

Seton Hall's Tabatha Richardson-Smith and Alexis Brown in the defensive stance, double-teaming a Butler ball handler by the sideline:
Outside Walsh Gym on the Seton Hall campus:
Surely, you have heard of prep power St. Benedict's (Rhode Island's Dan Hurley coached there) - at a traffic light en route to the Rock is a picture of their gym:
Snow scenes are in vogue today outside the Prudential Center:
You have to love the concentration of Creighton's Doug McDermott:
Creighton head coach Greg McDermott meets the media after the game:

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