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Xavier’s defense zipped up Seton Hall to take home a huge win

For the second time in two games, Xavier’s defense stepped up when the game was on the line.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall
Coach Mack is fired up about defense.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With seven minutes left in the game, Desi Rodriguez threw himself across the floor in response to minimal contact from Trevon Bluiett. Rather than booking Kevin Willard’s favorite player for simulation, the officials rewarded him with an offensive foul on Tre. On the ensuing possession, Angel Delgado threw in a hook shot to put Seton Hall up 57-52.

To that point, Seton Hall had scored 57 points in 57 possessions. Not exactly lighting the world on fire, but enough to have the lead against a ranked opponent heading into winning time.

Then Xavier got out the body bags.

From the point in time at which Angel Delgado converted that hook shot until the clock read 0:00, Seton Hall had 12 possessions. They scored 7 points thanks to a shooting line of 2-7/0-3/3-5 and an incredible 5 turnovers. As Xavier ratcheted up the defensive intensity, Seton Hall looked flat-out uncoached, just melting under the pressure.

In the meantime, Xavier averaged better than a three points a minute down the stretch, ripping off a 21-7 run that turned the game from a brawl going Seton Hall’s way to a race that X was winning. As the Pirates watched Xavier run away from them and the Prudential Center got progressively more quiet, the Musketeer defense got stop after stop to bury the game.