The jig is up. A great game on offense just wasn't enough to overcome how bad this team is on D. It's fitting, really.
Luke Harangody hyperextended his knee and missed the final several minutes of this contest. However, the team rallied around the flag and reduce a nine-point deficit to one with four minutes left. Tory Jackson led the way with 25 points, including a clutch three with 53 seconds left. Two last second attempts to tie the game were off-target, as the Irish just failed to come back from being down double-digits at the break. Kudos to the team for working hard to come back and playing well without their top scorer. Make no mistake, there really is some scoring talent on this roster.
But the defense... wow. For a bunch of guys that made a big deal out of shutting Dominique Jones down on Sunday, they sure let Jeremy Hazell run wild tonight. 12 three-pointers from Seton Hall for the night, including 8 for Hazell. He went 12-16 from the field and finished with 35 points, his highest total since December. Going into this game, the defensive strategy should have been pretty simple, especially so soon after playing another star-centric offense. All we needed to do was stop Hazell, but we gave him open looks all night.
My reviews tend to be pretty offense dominated, which surely was not the problem in this game, so I'll skip the individual reviews for the most part. As a team, the Irish shot 54% from the field, 53% from beyond the arc, and had five guys in double figures. While Tory had a career-high in scoring, he also was a bit reckless in the lane at times with six turnovers. Tim Abromaitis scored 18, two-thirds of which came from the line. Hansbrough scored 10, but couldn't tie the game at the end. Both Harangody and Nash scored 13.
Of course, the Pirates were even better. You would be hard-pressed to find another game with both teams shooting over 50% with so many three-point attempts. Hazell carried Seton Hall, but he got plenty of help with four other guys scoring at least eight.
The scariest outcome here is Harangody's injury. Without him the rest of the year, the team could lose out. I would hate to see such a great player's career go down the drain like this, though we are assuredly in the NIT (at best) now.