Second half comeback not enough as #25 Xavier loses at Seton Hall

02.09.22

Nunge, Scruggs each finish with a 20-point effort

NEWARK, N.J. – Jack Nunge and Paul Scruggs each finished with more than 20 points as No. 25 Xavier erased a 14-point deficit to pull within one late, but a shot for the win at the buzzer bounced off the backboard, giving the Musketeers a 73-71 loss at Seton Hall on Wednesday evening.

Nunge finished with 22 points, connecting on 9-of-12 field goals, including three threes. Paul Scruggs added 21 points, shooting 60 percent from the floor and going 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Xavier moved to 16-7 overall and 6-6 in BIG EAST play.

FIRST HALF RECAP

  • Jack Nunge opened the game with a three and the Musketeers kept the one-possession lead or tie for the first four minutes of the game. 
  • Seton Hall went on an 11-2 run to build a multiple possession lead, 22-13, with eight minutes left in the half.
  • Xavier would get within six before an 8-0 Pirate run gave SHU a 14-point lead, 32-18, the largest lead of the first half.
  • The Musketeers responded with a 9-2 run, with seven points coming from Paul Scruggs, to cut the lead back to seven, 34-27, going into the final minute of the first half before a SHU three set the halftime score at 37-27 in favor of the Pirates.
  • Jack Nunge led Xavier with 12 points in the first half, connecting on 5-of-8 shots from the floor, including a pair of threes.
  • Paul Scruggs had nine in the first half, with seven of those points coming in the final three minutes of the half.
  • Seton Hall had a 23-15 advantage on the boards at the half, grabbing a 9-1 advantage on the offensive glass and holding a 11-3 advantage on second-chance points.
  • Xavier had 10 turnovers to five for Seton Hall, allowing the Pirates to out-score the Musketeers 13-0 on points off turnovers.

SECOND HALF RECAP

  • Xavier out-scored Seton Hall 13-4 over the first six minutes of the half to pull within one, 41-40.
  • Seton Hall used an 8-2 run to push the lead back out to seven, then extended it back out to 10, 55-45, with just under 10 minutes to play.
  • The Musketeers chipped away at the lead over the next six minutes, pulling to within three, 60-57, after back-to-back baskets from Cesare Edwards.
  • SHU would lead by as many as eight in the final four minutes, but Xavier used a 6-0 run to make it a one-possession game in the final minute.
  • Xavier used missed Pirate free throws to get as close as one, 72-71, in the final 10 seconds, but after a final made free throw for SHU a three at the buzzer went off the back board to set the final score at 73-71 in favor of Seton Hall.
  • Scruggs had 12 points in the second half to lead Xavier.
  • Jack Nunge added 10 after going 4-of-4 from the floor.
  • Xavier shot over 60 percent from the floor in the second half while holding Seton Hall to 44 percent, outscoring the Pirates 44-36 after halftime.
  • SHU finished with an 18-13 advantage on the boards in the second half.

NOTABLES

  • Jack Nunge led Xavier with 22 points after shooting 75 percent from the floor, including 3-of-5 from three. Nunge grabbed five rebounds.
  • Paul Scruggs scored 21 points after going 6-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Scruggs led Xavier with seven rebounds and seven assists.
  • Cesare Edwards set a new career high at eight points in 10 minutes of action, going 4-of-4 on two-point field goals.
  • Xavier finished shooting 51 percent from the floor, holding Seton Hall to 41 percent shooting.
  • Seton Hall finished with a 41-28 advantage on the boards. Each team grabbed 24 rebounds on defense but the Pirates used a 17-4 advantage on the offensive glass to lead 17-9 on second chance points.

COURTESY XAVIER ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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