SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Coming into this Big East matchup, Seton Hall knew they were facing a very good DePaul team. A six-game win streak and unblemished 4-0 Big East record were part of the resume for the visitors from Chicago. After a quarter, DePaul owned a 33-18 lead.
The Pirates, playing in the comfort of Walsh Gymnasium, could never catch up. At the half, the Blue Demons owned a 60-35 lead. The efficiency for Doug Bruno’s club was an off-the-charts 162. Defensively, they limited the Hall to 92.
In the second half, it was more of the same. Seton Hall could not put together a run of any significance as DePaul went on to claim its fifth conference win, 96-65. DePaul is 13-4 overall, while the Pirates are 1-3 in the Big East and 8-7.
The first four minutes of the second half were won by DePaul, 4-2. The Pirates did little, if anything, to help their cause, going almost the full four minutes scoreless. Their lone field goal was just before the clock struck six minutes.
Possessions: DePaul 74, Seton Hall 77 (pace both teams are comfortable employing)
Offensive efficiency: DePaul 130, Seton Hall 84 (neither of these numbers is in the Hall comfort zone)
eFG%: DePaul 55, Seton Hall 46
Free Throw Rate: DePaul 18, Seton Hall 21
Offensive Rebound%: DePaul 56, Seton Hall 35
Offensive Rebound%: DePaul 56, Seton Hall 35
Turnover Rate: DePaul 23, Seton Hall 30
Leading scorers and EF:
DePaul- Tanita Allen 30 points, EF 36
Seton Hall- JaQuan Jackson 14, EF 16
What DePaul did well: Just about everything: Shot, rebounded, shared the ball. The lone downside was the turnover rate.
What Seton Hall did well: The Pirates shot 56 percent from the floor and scored 35 points in the first half. Both numbers concerned DePaul mentor Doug Bruno. Other than that, little else to elaborate on.
Allen’s EF per minute was phenomenal at 1.44. A sophomore guard, Allen played 25 minutes in relief. Grant, a senior forward, scored 23 points, pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, and posted a 34 EF (1.21 per minute). DePaul’s turnovers forced were damaging, as they held a 36-16 lead in points off turnovers.
There were a few numbers on this afternoon that are not in the realm of analytics or tempo-free stats. Deflections went 12-1 in DePaul’s favor. Loose balls recovered, 10-1 Blue Demons. Getting on the floor for loose balls, 6-1. Yes, once again, DePaul. “These are areas anyone can compete,” Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella said. “These are hustle plays.”
Those aforementioned areas deeply concerned Bozzella. His teams are traditionally strong regarding those categories. Defense is another thing lacking today. Seton Hall zoned, while DePaul ran a nice four-out offense featuring crisp ball movement and passing. The Blue Demons shot 16-of-37 from three point range, “not as hard when you are wide open,” per Bozzella. DePaul also assisted on 23 of their 36 field goals. The Blue Demons also owned a 36-28 lead on points in the paint. In very simple terms, DePaul was dominant inside and out.
Next up for the Pirates is Marquette, who came in on the short end of a 70-64 Big East battle at St. John’s on this same afternoon. Rest assured, job one for Bozzella is getting a capital ’E’ for effort from his group.
“Our players were ready to play. We shared the ball very well. It is one thing to pass and share, but you have to make the field goal to get the assist. We made shots. Grant had a great first half for us. We shot 43 percent from three. As a team, we shoot the three-pointer. We can make them. If we miss, we still try to shoot them, some teams will stop shooting them if they are missing. As a coach, you still look at what you can improve. Seton Hall shot 56 percent in the first half and we turned the ball over. These are things we can address. Bobby Knight once said to me, it is tougher to win your conference regular season championship than a national championship. What he meant is, a national title is won in a few weeks and a few games. The conference championship is a long process, week after week. The national championship is a sprint, the conference regular season title is a marathon. I know it is a coaching cliche, but we take this one at a time. You golf 18 holes, but one at a time. Next for us, Tuesday at St. John’s. We will start preparing for them tonight.” - DePaul coach Doug Bruno
“Our kids came out like they did the last two games, without intensity, with the same result. That is something they are going to have to change. The last ten days have been such a turnaround. We had good practices leading to St. John’s and a good win against them. Maybe our kids thought they won a championship with that one win, but since then we haven’t had the effort, not in games nor practices. We shot almost 60 percent and put up 35 in the first half, but there were too many negatives, especially on defense. At some point, our kids must figure it out. This is not a case of being in the wrong defense or offense. It is effort, or lack of it.” - Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella