The Musketeers didn’t hold back against Seton Hall, taking home an 82-60 road win
By Daniel Kelly, Staff Writer
Xavier men’s basketball hit the road to play Seton Hall on Saturday and won 82-60. The Musketeers played well and led by double digits for most of the second half in a game that was less competitive than the first matchup against the Pirates back in December.
The Xavier scoring attack was led by point guard Souley Boum in his 23-point effort. Not only did Boum score efficiently, shooting more than 60% from the field, but he also avoided turning the ball over.
“He was, in my opinion, the best player on the court,” Head Coach Sean Miller said in the post-game press conference.
Colby Jones, Jerome Hunter and Adam Kunkel also scored in double figures as part of the contribution to the 22-point victory.
As a team, the Musketeers shot 44% from outside and dominated Seton Hall on the glass as Xavier collected 15 more rebounds than the Pirates.
Seton Hall was one of the hottest teams in the Big East in January, but a tough February schedule has returned the team to a 0.500 record in conference play.
In the game’s closing seconds, Seton Hall players and coaches took issue with the fact that Souley Boum shot a three-pointe, and they made that frustration known.
As Boum was trying to dribble out the clock to end the game, Seton Hall Head Coach Shaheen Halloway was complaining to Miller. Meanwhile, a Seton Hall player tried to take the ball away from Boum even though the game’s outcome had already been decided.
Boum and Seton Hall guard Jaquan Sanders walked toward each other at which point Sanders pushed Boum before the two were separated by players and coaches.
Both players were issued technical fouls for exchanging those pleasantries. The fun didn’t end there, though, as first-year coach Holloway refused to shake Sean Miller’s hand in the post-game handshake line.
The biggest takeaway from the game was Xavier’s continued improvement on defense. In just half a month, the team’s defensive ranking has improved from 102 to 75.
Though Seton Hall was missing starter Kadary Richmond, this was still an extremely strong offensive and defensive showing for a Xavier team that is looking to solidify a top seed in both the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.
Seton Hall was limited to 25% shooting from the three- point line while no individual player scored more than 13 points for the Pirates. Meanwhile, the Musketeers were the first team to score 80 or more points against Seton Hall since the first week of January.
This improved the team to 21-8 overall and 13-5 in conference play. The win put the Musketeers at second in the Big East with the end of the regular season right around the corner.
Xavier faces Providence and Butler to end the season.
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