Photo by Nicole Rivera

Shaheen Holloway earns first Big East win as Seton Hall cruises late

A dominant second-half performance from Seton Hall earned them an 88-68 victory against the St. John's Red Storm at the Prudential Center on New Year's Eve.

With an aggressive defense on both ends of the floor, the first basket did not occur until about three minutes of play, when Seton Hall's senior guard Al-Amir Dawes made a left-wing three to start the game.

Joel Soriano then responded with four straight points of his own to give Saint John's a one-point lead before Al-Amir Dawes drained his second consecutive three to put the Pirates up by two. It was a one-on-one matchup between Dawes and Soriano, with Dawes scoring the Pirates' first four and St. John's Soriano scoring the Red Storm's first eight.

The Red Storm responded to Dawes and Seton Hall with a 14-2 run over 3:17, with Soriano scoring six points within the run and giving him an early ten points out of St. John's 13 with 13:06 left to play in the first half.

St. John's held the lead as large as ten before slowing down in the last seven minutes of play in the half, allowing Seton Hall to go on a 10-2 run in just over two minutes, bringing St. John's lead down to one. Dawes connected on his fourth trey of the half to put the Pirates up by two after trailing by double digits.

Both teams began to exchange baskets in the final 3:30 of the first half until Seton Hall scored five unanswered with 50 seconds left, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer from junior guard Kadary Richmond to put the Pirates up 42-37 at the end of the half.

Dawes led the way for the Pirates in the first with 12 points coming from three-point land. Soriano led the first half in points for both teams with 16 and eight rebounds. He also had help from junior forward David Jones, who scored 12 points and went a perfect 2-2 from beyond the arc.

In four minutes of play in the second half, the Pirates increased their lead to 13 after a 10-2 run, stunning the Red Storm and forcing them to take a timeout. Senior forward Tyrese Samuel contributed five points within the run, putting him in double-figures.

St. John's tough start to the second only continued throughout the half, struggling with shot selection and allowing the Pirates to take full advantage. The Pirates outscored St. John's by 17 in the last half with contributions from Richmond, Dawes, and junior guard Dre Davis with all three players scoring over 10 points in the second half.

The Pirates finished shooting an efficient 54 percent from the field with four players in double-digit scoring. Dawes led the way for Seton Hall, finishing with a team-high 22 points. Kadary Richmond and Tyrese Samuel came close to securing a double-double, grabbing nine rebounds each, with Samuel scoring 16 and Richmond with 19.

What's Next For Seton Hall

Head coach Shaheen Holloway looks to lead the Pirates to their second straight Big East Conference win as they visit the Creighton Bluejays on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.