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Saturday, February 5, 2011
Rapid Reaction: UConn 61, Seton Hall 59

By Kieran Darcy

NEWARK, N.J. -- A quick take on Seton Hall's 61-59 loss to UConn on Saturday night at the Prudential Center.

WHAT IT MEANS: Seton Hall drops to 10-14 overall, and 4-8 in the Big East. The Pirates have coughed up a few games this season, but this one may hurt the most. Seton Hall had a big second-half lead against the No. 7 team in the country, and utterly collapsed. (Read more below.)

UConn improves to 18-4 overall, and 6-4 in the Big East, snapping a two-game losing streak.

THE SKINNY: Seton Hall was every bit UConn's match and then some in the first half, taking a 37-32 lead into intermission, after a Jeff Robinson 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Pirates hit six treys in the first 20 minutes (14 attempts) -- three by Jeremy Hazell (12 points) and three by Robinson (11).

Seton Hall started off the second half strong as well, leading by as many as 14, and the score was 54-41 Pirates with 11:20 remaining. But a 17-3 run, capped off by a Kemba Walker trey, gave UConn its first lead of the second half, 58-57, with 2:32 left. Seton Hall had its opportunities to retake the lead, but failed to do so, and the Huskies held on for the victory. The Pirates did not have a field goal in the final 8:12 of the game, until meaningless layup at the buzzer.

STAR POWER: Walker, the fifth-leading scorer in the country, didn't have one of his best games (19 points, 7-for-19 shooting). But he willed the Huskies to this victory in the second half, when he scored 11 of his 19. His 3-pointer late was by far the biggest shot of the game.

Hazell, on the other hand, had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four steals -- but he shot just 7-for-22 from the field. And his 3-point attempt to tie the game at 60-57 with six seconds remaining was blocked.

BRIGHT SIDE? Seton Hall outrebounded one of the best rebounding teams in the nation, 42-33 -- but that will be of little solace after a loss as demoralizing as this one.

WHAT'S NEXT: Seton Hall is off until next Saturday, when they play in Piscataway against in-state rival Rutgers -- Rutgers beat the Hall 66-60 in Newark on Jan. 22.

UConn will be at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, to face St. John's.