March 3, 2012 at 10:19 PM
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Faced with a must-win game to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, the Seton Hall Pirates were blown out by the DePaul Blue Demons 86-58 on Saturday at Allstate Arena in Chicago.
DePaul forward Jamee Crockett led all scorers with 21 points off the bench.
Senior Herb Pope finished with 16 points and five rebounds. Theodore had 10 points and three assists to go with five turnovers.
The Pirates had an early 7-2 lead in the game. Pope hit a jumper on the Pirates’ first possession. Then senior Theodore hit a jump shot of his own off a missed Blue Demon shot.
After forward Cleveland Melvin put DePaul on the board with a bucket, Pope answered three possessions later with a 3-pointer to give the Pirates a five-point lead with 16:25 remaining. Crockett tied the game two minutes later when he hit the first of his five 3-pointers in the game.
The game went back and forth for the next five minutes with each team answering the other’s made baskets.
With 9:10 remaining in the first half, DePaul began to take control of the game. Guard Jeremiah Kelly nailed a jumper to give the Blue Demons a one-point lead, then guard Worrel Clahar followed with a 3-pointer to build a four-point lead.
Pope pulled the Pirates within one point on a layup and free throw, and freshman Brandon Mobley put the Pirates ahead with a dunk off a pass from Theodore to make the score 21-20 with 6:15 remaining.
This was the last time Seton Hall had a lead in the game. DePaul went on a 16-6 run over the final six minutes of the half to gain a 40-27 lead at the break. Crockett added a second 3-pointer during the stretch, and forward Donnovan Kirk had five points during a 30-second period.
In the second half, the Blue Demons scored six of the first nine points to take a 46-30 lead. Freshman Aaron Cosby made a layup with 16 minutes remaining to cut the lead to 14, but Seton Hall did not come any closer for the rest of the game. DePaul built a 20-point lead when Crockett hit another 3-pointer and Kelly made a jumper.
The Pirates shot 43.5 percent from the floor and just 5-16 from three-point range. The Blue Demons made 53 percent of their shots.
Seton Hall returns to the floor on Tuesday afternoon in round one of the Big East Championships. Their opponent and game time will be determined by the outcome of the remaining Big East schedule.
Timothy LeCras is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts designed to give students real-world experience.