No. 5 Xavier’s celebration over beating No. 1 Villanova earlier this week was short-lived, as the Musketeers couldn’t get the job done against unranked Seton Hall at the Prudential Center today in a 90-81 loss. Desi Rodriguez led the Pirates with 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 22 points of his own.
Xavier just didn’t have it today, and it was clear from the opening tip that it was going to be a bumpy road. Seton Hall started the action on a 9-0 run and ended up making 50 percent of its field goal attempts on the day. Xavier, on the other hand, couldn’t get past the Pirates’ smothering defense and were just 39 percent from the field as a team. James Farr and Trevon Blueitt chipped in 17 points each, but that just wasn’t enough.
But it wasn’t shoddy shooting that sunk Xavier, but foul trouble. The Musketeers committed 26 fouls as a unit and reserve guard/spark plug J.P. Macura ended up fouling out while five others had at least three fouls. As a result, Seton Hall took a ridiculous 36 trips to the charity stripe compared to just 17 by Xavier.
The good news is that Xavier can still look forward to a small bump in the rankings after beating Villanova earlier this week, but this is not a loss that should happen this late in the season. The Musketeers will look to close out the regular season on a high note on Saturday against Creighton, while Seton Hall will look to run its winning streak to five against Butler on Wednesday.