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Shaheen Holloway was not going to stay undefeated forever as Seton Hall coach. The Pirates (2-1) struggled on offense for much of the game in a 83-67 defeat Wednesday night at the Prudential Center in Newark at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0) of the Big Ten conference. This matchup was part of the annual Gavitt Games showcase matching up teams from the Big East and Big Ten.

Seton Hall jumped out to an early lead in the first four minutes when a Kadary Richmond 3-pointer put the Pirates up 10-2. Their momentum then hit a brick wall as the Hawkeyes reeled off a 19-3 run over the next nine minutes, including nearly seven minutes without a single point scored by The Hall. The shooting woes were compounded by a tight whistle from the refs which seemed to stop any momentum dead in the Pirates tracks. A Tyrese Samuel dunk at the 5:15 mark was immediately followed by a steal by Femi Odukale on the defensive end which he passed to Samuel for a quick layup, but Samuel was called for an offensive foul for bumping Connor McCaffrey on the way up. The Pirates pushed forward with a KC Ndefo layup closing the gap to four points before the Hawkeyes finished the half on a 10-2 run to go into halftime leading 34-22.

The Pirates came out hot in the second half with the opening inbounds play ending with a Jamir Harris layup. Shortly afterwards, Richmond stole the ball and found Odukale inside for a reverse layup to give Seton Hall six points in the first 1:08 of the half. Samuel picked up his third foul a few minutes later, sending him to the bench in foul trouble and cooling down momentum again for the Pirates.

A bright spot for the Pirates was their bench scoring, with Dre Davis leading the team in scoring with 13 points on the night including a 3-pointer followed by a Jamir Harris 3-pointer to close the gap to 46-41 at the 13:36 mark but the Pirates never got any closer than give points in the second half. Defensively, the Pirates just could not solve Kris Murray. With 11:25 remaining, Tray Jackson hit a jumper bringing the gap down to five again at 50-45, then Murray came back and hit a 27 foot bomb to bring the Hawkeyes lead back up to eight. A Connor McCaffrey three with 5:42 to go seemed to let the remaining energy out of the building, putting the Hawkeyes up 70-59 and the Pirates faded from there. Kris Murray finished with 29 points to tie his career high along with 11 rebounds giving him the second double-double of his career.

News and Notes:
This was the second Gavitt Games matchup between these teams, with both teams winning on the road. Seton Hall defeated Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena 91-83 on November 17, 2016 in the first year of the showcase named after Dave Gavitt, the former Providence head coach and founder of the Big East Conference.
The Pirates fall to 3-3 all time in the Gavitt Games and 1-2 at home with a previous win over Indiana in November 2017 and a loss to Michigan State in November 2019.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey and Shaheen Holloway both coached in the MAAC conference with McCaffrey leading Siena from 2005-10 and Holloway leading St. Peter’s from 2018-22. McCaffrey was also considered for the Seton Hall coaching job in 2010 but was hired at Iowa instead. Seton Hall ultimately hired his MAAC rival Kevin Willard from Iona.
Seton Hall’s next game is on Sunday November 20 against Wagner at Prudential Center at 3pm. The game will be airing on FS1.

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