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Xavier vs Seton Hall recap, takeaways and sorrow

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Xavier
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Oof. This one was just ugly. Coming into this one X had not played for a week and it looked as though that might be an issue. It was. The game started fairly competitive. Both teams traded blows throughout the first 15 minutes. Jason Carter (12/7/0) was all over the place making plays and even got clocked in the face for his efforts. The game was basically decided in the next 5 minutes. Seton Hall went on a 15-0 run over the last 5 minutes to take control of the game. In this time it didn’t even look like X had a plan as shots kept missing and stops eluded them. That quickly it went from 29-28 to 44-28 at the half.

Not a lot happened in the second half. X never got the lead to single digits and shrunk out of the game. The guards were a complete no show tonight and combined for just 18 points between the 6 of them. The overall effort was lacking to say the least and this one wasn’t in doubt for the last 20 minutes. Freemantle (20/9/3) had a solid outing after a rough start to conference play but still got bullied on the defensive glass. Throughout the second half Seton Hall made a lot of tough shots and got a few breaks, but X never looked like getting back into it. The shots weren’t falling, the defense was quite porous and that pretty much did it.

Takeaways or whatever...

- Ben Stanley can be a weapon Stanley came off the bench again and continues to look more and more comfortable in the offense. Today he shot 5-7 and got 12 points. For a dude who is coming off the bench after a month of scout team duty he is getting up to speed nicely. Stanley will continue to improve and add quality depth to this team.

- The 3 can be our best friend and our worst enemy I love good three point shooting. Everyone does. X has had many guys show that they can shoot the 3 at a high level. So why are we shooting just 13-56 in the last 2 games? One reason could be that sometimes the ball just won’t fall. Slumps happen but it’s truly unfortunate when everyone goes cold at once for two straight games. Another reason is that the guys who took a bulk of the 3s tonight weren’t the best options for 3s. Carter and Freemantle shot 10 3s while Scruggs and Johnson only shot 5. Those 2 didn’t hit any of their attempts but it would preferable to have them pulling 3s with more frequency. Whatever the reason for the struggles has been, it needs to get solved or there needs to be a better backup plan before X drops more games.

- Rebounding It’s no secret that rebounding is an issue. Other teams know that now too as Seton Hall (not a great oreb team) grabbed 9 of their own misses. Overall the rebounding battle was lost 40-28. That just isn’t gonna get it done for X. On nights when the shots aren’t falling, it is imperative to seal off the glass and close out possessions.