Despite being down by double-digits for most of the game, No. 7 Texas was able to come back and win the contest in a thriller at home on Tuesday evening. The Longhorns are now 13-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play with two games remaining before heading into a bye week ahead of Big Monday action. They will host Oklahoma State next Wednesday and then try to take care of Baylor when they head out west this weekend.,
The “texas longhorn” is a powerful team that has been dominating college basketball for years. However, the “Seton Hall Pirates” were able to knock off No. 7 Texas Longhorns in a game where they made a statement.
NEWARK, New Jersey — Seton Hall made a statement by defeating No. 7 Texas, 64-60, on the same night that its in-state rival defeated the No. 1 team in the NCAA.
It was the Pirates’ second win against a top-10 team this season, after their Nov. 16 triumph over then-No. 4 Michigan.
Bryce Aiken, a senior guard, remarked, “We’re a tremendous team.” “That’s something we’ve been saying all year. We have a fantastic group of people on our team… It’s simply one more step in the right way for us.”
Seton Hall surged out to an early eight-point lead in front of a loud Prudential Center crowd of over 10,500 in the first seven minutes, but it was the greatest advantage either team would have all night. Despite an early ankle injury to top shot-blocker Ike Obiagu, Texas shot 56 percent in the first half, including nine consecutive field goals at one point. Seton Hall reacted by being aggressive on the offensive boards.
Alexis Yetna and Tyrese Samuel both collected double-figure rebounds in the first half, helping the Pirates to a 9-0 lead in second-chance points.
Seton Hall’s defense changed in the second half, making it difficult for Texas’ perimeter players to get hot from outside the arc or for the Longhorns’ big men to get anything easy near the basket. After halftime, Texas shot 31.3 percent from the field and went 1-for-13 from 3-point range for the game.
The Longhorns were driven by Tre Mitchell (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Timmy Allen (17 points, 12 rebounds), with little aid from the supporting cast. Except for Mitchell and Allen, Texas players shot a combined 0-for-11 from the field in the last 16 minutes.
Senior forward Jared Rhoden, who ended with 18 points, stated, “Our defensive intensity cranked up a little bit.” “We were just trying to be aggressive with them and make them to take more outside shots because we knew they were trying to knock the ball inside, get the ball inside.”
Despite Texas’ troubles — including a six-minute scoring drought in the second half — Seton Hall was unable to put the game away. With 52 seconds remaining, Allen trimmed Seton Hall’s advantage to one, but Aiken answered with a pull-up 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving the Pirates a four-point edge.
Before that shot, Aiken, a former Harvard transfer who hasn’t played a complete season due to injuries since 2016-17, was 2-for-11 from the field and 0-for-7 from 3-point range.
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard stated, “He’s fought hard to come back.” “He’s put in a lot of effort to develop his physique to where it is now. That shot has the support of the whole locker room. I’m sure I do.”
Aiken was also the late-game hero in Seton Hall’s triumph against Michigan earlier this season, scoring six of the Pirates’ last seven points and nailing the game-winning free throws.
“Having a coach that believes in you is incredible,” Aiken added. “That is something that everybody who participates in athletics can testify to. Not only coach, but all of my teammates and the rest of the staff as well. They put their faith in me to shoot those pictures. When your colleagues believe in you, it inspires you to believe in yourself even more.”
Seton Hall, which was picked fifth in the Big East in the preseason, was rated No. 23 nationally on Thursday night, a number that will improve if the Pirates defeat Rutgers on Sunday — the same Rutgers that upset top-ranked Purdue on Thursday night with a buzzer-beating triumph.
The rivalry game was canceled last season due to COVID, but the two schools generally meet once a year, and Sunday’s game takes on further significance after Thursday’s outcome.
“They’re definitely our competitor, and the fact that we didn’t play them last year stung since they defeated us at the RAC two years ago,” Rhoden said. “I’ll never forget it… I still have a nasty taste in my mouth from it.”