The No. 23 Creighton Bluejays upset the No. 10 Seton Hall Pirates 87-82 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Wednesday evening.
Seton Hall had plenty of opportunities to come out on top in the last few minutes. Creighton led 75-72, but Myles Powell missed a three-point attempt and a running jumper within a 25-second stretch.
Senior center Romaro Gill bucketed a layup at the 1:20 mark to pull the Pirates within one point, but Bluejays junior guard Denzel Mahoney drilled a three-pointer 10 seconds later to make it a two-possession contest that Seton Hall couldn't recover from.
Powell, the Pirates' leading scorer this season, struggled all night. The senior guard went just 3-of-16 from the field, including 1-of-11 from three-point land for 12 points. Powell's only made three-point attempt came much too late with four seconds remaining in regulation.
F Damien Jefferson: 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
G Marcus Zegarowski: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal
G Ty-Shon Alexander: 18 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
G Denzel Mahoney: 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
G Quincy McKnight: 20 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal
F Sandro Mamukelashvili: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist
C Romaro Gill: 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks
G Myles Powell: 12 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists
The contest was close throughout.
Creighton's largest lead of the evening was eight points, and it came at the 4:27 mark of the first half. Seton Hall's biggest advantage was just five points. There were 20 lead changes. Per Creighton sports information director Rob Anderson, this was the Bluejays' most back-and-forth game of the season:
Seton Hall's most promising offensive stretch came via 7-0 run with around eight minutes remaining in regulation:
However, Mahoney got to the line and made both free throws to halt momentum. A subsequent Powell turnover led to the Bluejays tying the game back at 66 before Mahoney hit a three to put Creighton ahead 69-66.
Twelve of Mahoney's 18 points came in the second half. He proved to be a difference-maker down the stretch for the Bluejays, whose bench outscored the Pirates' second unit 22-17 while only using two reserves to their opponents' five.
Creighton's collective effort not only resulted in Seton Hall's most allowed points in a game this season but also compensated for junior guard Mitch Ballock failing to score on 0-of-7 shooting. Ballock is the team's third-leading scorer at 12.8 points per game, behind only Alexander (16.4) and Zegarowski (15.9).
The Bluejays bailed out Ballock in a way Seton Hall couldn't for Powell despite McKnight notching his third 20-point performance of the season.
By defeating the Pirates, per Anderson, the Bluejays joined them and the Florida State Seminoles as the only three teams with two top-10 road victories this season. Creighton also defeated then-No. 8 Villanova on Feb. 1. This is the first time in program history it has defeated two top-10 teams away from home in the same season.
The Pirates will try for revenge in their regular-season finale at Creighton on March 7.
Creighton has now won six of its last seven games. This marked the 19-6 (8-4 in conference play) Bluejays' first win over Seton Hall since Jan. 17, 2018.
The 18-6 (10-2) Pirates were fresh off a 70-64 victory over No. 15 Villanova and had won 12 of their last 13 outings. Seton Hall's only other Big East loss came against Xavier on Feb. 1. The unranked Musketeers prevailed 74-62 at the Prudential Center.
Notably, Powell was held to nine points on 3-of-14 shooting in that loss.
This result has implications in the Big East. Seton Hall and Creighton entered in first and second place, respectively, with 17-6 (7-4) Marquette lingering in third place.
Both teams will return to action on Saturday with Seton Hall looking to bounce back at Providence and Creighton hosting DePaul.