That was the question being asked by Seton Hall fans following Wednesday night’s 55-42 loss to Notre Dame. The Pirates (15-5, 4-4 in Big East) lost their first home game this year and extended their losing streak to three games. This was also their third loss since cracking the Associated Press Top 25 poll on Jan. 9, their first ranking since Jan. 30, 2001.
“You better have a short memory in this conference,” said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard following the game. “If you don’t have a short memory, it makes for a long year.”
Most fans will try not to remember this game, as it was the lowest point total for the Pirates since their 93-40 loss to Duke in 2005. Notre Dame (13-8, 5-3 in Big East), one of the best defensive teams in the country, was coming off of a 66-57 win over No. 1 Syracuse and proved to be too much for the Pirates’ offense.
The first half was extremely low scoring with Seton Hall being the first team to break double-digits in points with 8:25 left in the first half off of a free throw by Patrik Auda. The score entering halftime was 19-18 with Notre Dame leading.
Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant led all scorers with 15 points. Senior Jordan Theodore led the Pirates with 11 points, while sophomore forward Fuquan Edwin had a career high 12 rebounds.
Senior forward Herb Pope had one of his worst games in a Pirates uniform by shooting 2-16 and finishing with 5 points.
“If (Pope) makes 5 of those shots, he had a good game, but he had a tough game tonight” said Willard. “I don’t think he is getting fatigued out there. He’s just battling in there, day in and day out. Sometimes he will hit some shots, sometimes he will miss them.”
The Pirates had only 4 assists in the game, their lowest total of the year.
“We have a lot of ‘I’ going on right now,” Willard said. “‘I’m a good player. I did this, I scored that.’ I think we’ve all forgotten what got us to how good we were playing, so we have to get back to that.”
The Pirates next three games will be difficult as they play three ranked teams, two of which will be on the road; Jan. 28 against No. 25 Louisville, Jan. 31 at No. 17 Marquette and Feb. 4 at No. 24 Connecticut. Kevin Willard is hoping to see a sharp turnaround in the Pirates’ play to hopefully lead them back to the top of the pack.
“We’ll get back to playing good basketball,” said Willard. “I have a lot of confidence in these guys.”
The Pirates next game will be at home against Louisville on Jan. 28. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.