Monday, January 26, 2015

DePaul 64, Seton Hall 60: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEWARK, NJ ­- Home games are extremely valuable. You are playing in friendly confines, know your surroundings, and have a general confident feeling. Taking advantage of your home court is a priority. Coaches talk about ‘stealing one on the road.’ In a way, a road victory is a theft. Teams expect to win at home. If the visiting team gets the 'W,' there is a feeling, not of shock, but certainly of surprise in the result.

On Thursday, DePaul exited the Prudential Center with one of those road wins, a come-from-behind 64-60 effort against Seton Hall. It was especially pleasing for coach Oliver Purnell. His Blue Demons came from eight down with under six minutes to play to earn this one.

Seton Hall had the lost feeling. It wasn’t just a case of failing to execute at key juncture in the stretch, not just in coming up short. The hurt centered on the realization the opportunity to seal the deal was thrown away. Protecting the home ‘turf’ was not realized.

Coaches will tell you in conference, not just the Big East, the formula is to win those home games and ‘steal’ a few on the road. Having lost at home for the second time this season in conference play, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard sensed the seriousness of the situation. Willard remarked following the DePaul contest, “we go on the road for a few games and have to figure out a way to win.” Much easier said than done.

The Seton Hall huddle, a crowded place during a timeout:
Much like the movies, popcorn is popular at "The Rock":
Jaren Sina of Seton Hall looks for an opening:
Anthony Marotta, better known as "Flag Man" entertains during the under-8 timeout in the second half:
Shooting a pressure-packed free throw into the midst of a vocal crowd:
The Seton Hall dance team, the Sapphires, pose with fans postgame:

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