Photo by Nicole Rivera

Seton Hall extends winning streak to three after win over Drexel

Seton Hall extended their winning streak to three games, cruising past the Drexel Dragons, 66-49, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday.

Seton Hall (7-4) raced out of the gates, jumping to a 31-16 lead against Drexel at halftime. The Pirates outrebounded the Dragons 25-16, dominating points in the paint 18-6 and limiting Drexel to 21 percent shooting.

The Pirates led 14-9 at the 11 and half minute mark of the first half when they went on an 8-0 run over two minutes to boost the margin to double digits. Senior forward Tray Jackson stroked back-to-back trifectas to spark the run.

Jackson was not only a presence from long range but inside the paint with an emphatic putback shot as he compiled his tenth point of the game to widen the Seton Hall advantage to 24-11 with less than eight minutes left in the half.

With Jackson picking up his second foul of the game at the seven and half minute juncture, junior guard Kadary Richmond provided a lift canning a triple to put the Pirates up 27-14 with less than seven minutes to go.

Seton Hall lost one of their critical centerpieces, junior guard Femi Odukale to an injury with three minutes remaining in the half. However, the Pirates still held the Dragons without a point for five minutes to end the opening half.

Once the second half got underway, Seton Hall continued to pour it on offensively as they built their most significant lead of the game at 51-20 with 12 and half minutes remaining. Freshman forward Dre Davis joined the double-digit club at ten points with a lay-up.

Just when it appeared the Pirates had a comfortable cushion, the offense hit a brick wall. Drexel was on fire from behind the arc, burying three treys that ignited an 11-0 run for three minutes.

Seton Hall's graduate guard Jamir Harris was able to stop the bleeding with a lay-up at the seven-minute mark. However, the Pirates lost their key scorer Tray Jackson as he picked up his fifth foul of the game 17 seconds later.

The Dragons kept charging ahead, making it a 21-4 run to pull within 57-44 with less than three minutes left. Not even a minute later, Drexel closed the gap to 57-46.

That would be as close as the Dragons would get the rest of the way. Seton Hall senior guard Al-Amir Dawes sank a three with two and half minutes to go as the Pirates were able to cruise to the victory.

Tray Jackson and Dre Davis each totaled 12 points apiece, while Al-Amir Dawes added ten points. Amari Williams led Drexel in scoring 14 points, Coletrane Washington dropped in 11 points, and Yame Butler contributed ten points.

"I'm not very happy. If you want to be a good team, you can't finish games like that," said Seton Hall head coach Shaheen Holloway. "You got to be able to take that next step and disappointed because we have a bunch of older guys but we're still immature and we have to grow and get ready for Saturday."

"Coming out of the second half, they (Drexel) didn't score for the first eight minutes, then we got lazy and we thought the game was out of hand. In college basketball, everyone knows you make some threes, you're right back in the game. The momentum can swing really quick and what happened tonight, I was afraid that was going to happen. We came out aggressively for the first eight minutes, and the last minutes weren't good."

Seton Hall returns to action on Saturday when they open Big East play against the Providence Friars (8-3) at the Prudential Center, with tip-off set for 12:30 p.m.

"After we came back from Kansas, I said we're 4-4 and now we're 3-0 and we get ready to play in the (Big East) conference, one of the best in the country."

"I told everyone on Media Day it would be progress and steps. Everyone wants it right away, but that's not realistic. We had some challenging games, but these kids are battling. This is another step."