Andy Mac: Muskies Mauled by Seton Hall
By Andy Mac Williams, 12/31/2020

Xavier TEAM 99 Report-Overall Game #10-BIG EAST Game#3-Muskies were mauled 85-68 by Seton Hall Wednesday at Cintas. XU drops its 2nd straight BIG EAST game and slips to 1-2 in conference play. SHU is now 4-1 in BE and solo 2nd behind 3-0 Villanova. Xavier was crushed on the glass by a HUGE Seton Hall team(rebounds were 42-28 Pirates).

Again XU was outscored 14-7 in FT points. Three pointers failed to bail Muskies out(just 5-24 for a paltry 21%). Seton Hall won the toughness element hands down

X won the 1st 4 minute war 14-8 then it was all down hill. SH got to the basket easily finishing 1st half on a 15-0 run leading 44-28 at the break. It's the first time I remember in 21 year history of Cintas Center that a team has won 3 in a row vs Muskies. Not even Villanova can claim that.

Xavier could not get consecutive defensive on a 15-0 run leading 44-28 at the break. It's the first time I remember in 21 year history of Cintas Center that a team has won 3 in a row vs Muskies. Not even Villanova can claim that.

Seton Hall won the toughness element hands down. Xavier could not get consecutive defensive stops. Kills(3 stops in a row) were non-existent!! Seton Hall made catches sticky for Xavier offensively. Perimeter guys Johnson, Jones, Tandy and Kunkel were a collective 2-16 from the floor.

Coach Travis Steele did not mince words in the postgame ZOOM call.

"We got out-toughed and out-worked from the beginning! They drove us and posted us and bullied us! That's on me! This league is a monster. We got exposed! Our response stunk. It's completely unacceptable. We'll get this corrected in practice(next game-St Johns at Cintas-Jan. 6th)."

"Seton Hall is the most physical team in our league. Some of our guys had never played them. We told them they'd try to bully us and they did. We played O-lay defense. They got anything they wanted. We gave very little resistance."

Practices will include a heavy helping of the plastic bubble and the nasty rebounding battles that result. "Bubble up" will initiate practice wars on the glass.

Xavier did dish out 22 assists on 28 made FGS so the ball was moving. Again open "3s" were not falling like at Creighton.

Zach Freemantle put up decent numbers(20 points-9 rebounds-3 assists). Jason Carter scored 12 w/ 7 boards.

PG Dwon Odom played impressively off the bench after his 2 week plus Covid pause (15 minutes-4 points-5 assists-0 turnovers). Expect him back as PG starter for St Johns after a week of practice.

Ben Stanley scored 12 in 12 minutes (but no rebounds). C.J Wilcher knocked down a late "3". Daniel Ramsey is practicing and took the warm-up. Dieonte Miles may be an option. All jobs and possibilities are now on the table after a bummer wake-up call like this-losing 85-68 at Cintas is a rarity.

Quick check found a 75-55 loss to UC in Thad Matta's 1st year(2001). Xavier has responded well in the wake of that clunker-beating the Bearcats 8 straight at Cintas since.

XU does play Seton Hall in Newark on January 16th. Muskies can make it 3 in a row at the Rock w/ a revenge win but there's a ton of work to do defensively-on the glass-and attacking the rim.

Nobody said this would be easy! Have faith Muskie Fans!! Happy New Year!! So long 2020!! Hello Vaccine!!




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