Game of the Week: Seton Hall vs St. John’s
There’s nothing like a New Jersey versus New York matchup, as the Seton Hall Pirates take on the St. John’s Red Storm in a classic Big East basketball showdown. Seton Hall their first meeting 76-74, with a controversial late-game call marring what was otherwise a great basketball game. Now St. John’s will look to avenge the loss to Seton Hall in a matchup that could have serious tournament implications come selection Sunday.
Seton Hall currently sits at 16-10 on the season, with a 7-7 conference record. The Pirates sit tied for third in a Big East conference race dominated by Villanova and Marquette. The Pirates lost their last game to Xavier 70-69 in a heartbreaker at home.
Seton Hall is led by the scoring prowess of junior guard Myles Powell. Powell, a New Jersey native, averages 21 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent shooting from three. Powell has carried Seton Hall to big-time wins over numerous teams, including a top 25 ranked Maryland team and a top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats squad, with his clutch shooting ability and his deadeye jumper. He has been a scoring machine for the Pirates this year.
Outside of Powell, Seton Hall is mostly role players who contribute in many different ways, with Sandro Mamukelashvili handling the big man duties in the paint and guard Myles Cale manning the other guard position. The Pirates have proven to be a surprise this year, especially after all the senior talent they lost only a season ago.
Meanwhile, St. Johns features a fearsome big three trio, led by junior guard Shamorie Ponds, junior Guard Mustapha Heron, and sophomore guard LJ Figueroa. Pond is an excellent scorer for St. John’s averaging 19 points per game on 45 percent shooting. He is the heart and soul of this Red Storm team and the most important piece, possessing an excellent handle and playmaking ability.
Heron and Figueroa also contribute tremendously to St. Johns, with Heron shooting an extremely accurate 42 percent from three and Figueroa also being a scoring threat as well. Both are very good spot-up shooters and slashers who can defend as well.
For Seton Hall the play of guard Myles Powell is paramount, however, Powell struggled with his shooting in Seton Hall’s loss to Xavier, only shooting 37 percent from the field. This game won’t be any easier for Powell, as he will most likely be guarded by Justin Simon, an excellent on-ball defender who has been suffocating defenses this year.
On the flip side, Shamorie Ponds has struggled heavily in his past two games, making only four shots total in both games. Ponds will hopefully return to his form in this matchup versus a tough Seton Hall team.
PREDICTION: Shamorie Ponds will find his scoring touch once again while Myles Powell will also have a solid game himself, despite the defensive matchup he faces. The play of LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron will prove to be too much for the Pirates at St. John’s emerges victorious by a score of 72-69.
David Saggio is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.