PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Sophomore Jordan Theodore (Englewood, N.J.) led six Pirates in double-figures with 21 points as Seton Hall wrapped up the 2009-10 regular season with a 92-80 victory at Providence.
The win is Seton Hall's 18th of the season, a new high during the Bobby Gonzalez era. The victory also means a .500 record in the BIG EAST for the first time at 9-9.
In addition to Theodore's 21 points, the guard also dished out a season-high eight assists. Sophomore Herb Pope (Aliquippa, Pa.) picked up his second straight double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Leading scorer Jeremy Hazell (Harlem, N.Y.) settled for 18 points and five rebounds.
Theodore found a streaking Hazell for a thunderous dunk to give the Pirates an early 10-4 lead with 16:12 before halftime. Providence's Sharaud Curry drained a three-pointer to make it 10-7, but Hazell responded with a "three" of his own to push the Seton Hall lead back to six, 13-7, with 15:45 left in the first half.
With Seton Hall leading 20-14, Providence went on a 7-2 run to pull to within one, at 21-20. But senior Eugene Harvey responded on the Pirates' next possession with an old fashioned three-point play to push the Seton Hall lead back to four, 25-21. The Friars' Bilal Dixon scored to make it 25-23, but then the Pirates went on a 9-0 run, capped by a three-pointer by junior Robert Mitchell (Brooklyn, N.Y.), to them a 34-23 lead with 5:02 to go before halftime. Two minutes later, that lead expanded to 14, at 41-27, when Jeff Robinson scored on a breakaway dunk.
Providence went on an 8-0 to pull to within six, but Theodore scored on a backwards lay-up under the basket to send the Pirates into the locker room with a 43-35 halftime lead.
Theodore and Jeremy Hazell led the Pirates with eight first half points. Sharaud Curry scored 14 to lead the Friars.
Seton Hall shot an impressive 53.3% from the field in the first half, compared to only 33.3% for Providence. The Friars, however, soundly defeated the Pirates on the glass, 28-to-13.
A dunk off a rebound by Herb Pope pushed the Pirates' lead to 61-48, but a 6-0 run got the Friars right back into the game, trailing only 61-53 with 9:55 remaining in regulation.
With the Pirates leading 73-62 with 4:26 left to play, Providence's Jamine Peterson fouled out. Peterson was the Friars' leading scorer and leading rebounder entering the contest, but left with just six points and four rebounds.
Seton Hall kept the pressure on and a pair of free throws by junior Robert Mitchell with only 1:26 remaining in the game gave the Pirates their largest lead of the night, 86-69. The Friars would not get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Seton Hall shot 50.8% from the field for the game, compared to 38.5% for Providence. The Pirates also forced 19 turnovers.
Vincent Council led the Friars with a game-high 25 points.
With a final record of 9-9 in the BIG EAST, Seton Hall has earned the #10 seed in the 2010 BIG EAST Championship. The Pirates will play #15 Providence at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The winner of this game will play #7 Notre Dame on Wednesday, also at 7:00 p.m.