Seton Hall (12-17, 6-11) broke a three-game slide with an 84-70 win over No. 15/15 St. John’s on Thursday night. The loss snapped St. John’s (19-10, 11-6) six-game winning streak and means that a Syracuse win over DePaul on Saturday would give the Orange a bye into the quarterfinal round of The BIG EAST Championship.
Jeremy Hazell scored a season-high 31 points and the Pirates shot a season-best 12-of-18 from 3-point range. Seton Hall entered the game last in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage at 28.4 percent. The Pirates finished the game shooting 64.3 percent from the floor and had four players score in double figures.
St. John’s trailed by just two points after a pair of Malik Boothe free throws with 3:52 remaining in the game. But Seton Hall would score 14 of the final 16 points to take the win. Fuquan Edwin got the run started with a 3-point jumper. Jordan Theodore and Edwin then had back-to-back layups to take a nine-point lead with less than two minutes remaining. Guard Dwight Hardy led the Red Storm with 23 points.
No games are on the schedule for Friday but all 16 BIG EAST teams are in action on Saturday for the final day of regular-season play. Many seedings are still to be determined for the 2011 BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters, with the only game that is locked in being the 12/13 matchup between Seton Hall and Rutgers. DePaul also is locked into the No. 16 seed.
The day begins at noon Eastern with Louisville traveling to West Virginia on ESPN. Louisville has clinched the No. 3 seed in The BIG EAST Championship, but West Virginia is still battling to hold on to a first round bye.
Two games are scheduled for 2 p.m. as Georgetown visits Cincinnati and Notre Dame heads to Connecticut on ESPN. Georgetown and Cincinnati are both battling for a first round bye. Connecticut also hopes to avoid playing on Tuesday of the tournament, while Notre Dame is in contention for the No. 1 seed with a win and a Pittsburgh loss.
Two games are scheduled for 4 p.m. as Pittsburgh hosts Villanova and Syracuse hosts DePaul. A win by Pittsburgh gives the Panthers the outright BIG EAST regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Syracuse can clinch a bye into the quarterfinal round of the Championship with a win against the Blue Demons.
Marquette visits Seton Hall at 6 p.m. and Rutgers is at Providence at 7 p.m. USF and St. John’s will play the final game of the BIG EAST regular-season at 8 p.m.