The final game of the day was set up to be one of the highlighted matchups of the first round. Gonzaga with one of the top, most efficient offenses in the NCAA scoring 79.7 points per game and Seton Hall, giving up the 2nd fewest points in the Big East at 67.8 points per game. The game started about as expected with each team trading baskets until G Silas Melson knocked down a 3-pointer with about 7 mins to go in the first half to give Gonzaga the lead 23-21 and they rode that to a 35-25 halftime lead. It didn’t help matters that Seton Hall went 0-15 in the final 8:44 of the half. The Pirates best player, G Isaiah Whitehead, was 1-11 for 2 points.
The 2nd half for Seton Hall didn’t improve much. Gonzaga continued to hold them at arms length for much of the remainder of the game. The closest Seton Hall was able to get within striking distance was six points but a couple of costly turnovers and poor defense allowed the Bulldogs add to their lead. F Domantas Sabonis was absolutely dominant in the paint, finshing with a game high 21 points and 16 rebounds. Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead was the only starter for the Pirates to finish with double digit points (4-24 for 10 points) as they shot an abysmal 32.8% from the field. “I felt like it was an off night, one of my worst shooting performances,” said Whitehead following the loss. “You have bad nights. He had some good looks, got to the rim, but just couldn’t find it. Sometimes you just can’t hit shots,” said Seton Hall’s Coach Kevin Willard following the game on Whitehead’s performance.
After winning the Big East Tournament, Seton Hall’s season came crashing down as they were barely competitive against the Bulldogs. Gonzaga will face Utah on Saturday in Round 2.
TOP PHOTO CREDIT: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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