After a game in which guard Jamel Jackson hit 12 three-pointers to set a school record for a single game, head coach Bobby Gonzalez made a rather understated comment – “I got to find (Jamel) minutes.”
Not a bad problem for the Pirates to have with guard Keon Lawrence and forward Jeff Robinson both set to return next weekend.
The men’s basketball team defeated Virginia Military Institute, 134-107, before an announced crowd of just over 6,000 on Saturday at Prudential Center.
Seton Hall remained perfect on the season, now 8-0, as it will welcome a talented Temple squad – one of its tougher out of conference tests – after finals week concludes at the university next Saturday.
“I know everyone is killing our schedule but all I care about is that we continue to play good ball,” Gonzalez said.
Three Pirates scored in double figured, but none was as prolific as Jackson. He drilled his first seven three-point attempts and only broke the consecutive streak after forcing a mid-court jumper as the shot clock expired.
The junior college transfer finished with 40 points on 14-17 shooting, 12-15 from long range.
“We (Gonzalez and assistant coach Dermon Player) saw Jamel hit eight straight three’s in a JUCO (junior college game),” Gonzalez said. “We thought that him and Jeremy Hazell together could be one of the better three point shooters in the country.”
Hazell also piled on the scoring for the Hall, ending with 33 points on 9-16 shooting. He added 12 rebounds to the cause as well.
Forward Herb Pope earned yet another double-double, collecting 20 rebounds along with a 15-point effort. Forward Robert Mitchell and guard Eugene Harvey rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Pirates, with 18 and 10, respectively.
Just about every Pirate earned a spot on the scorecard, with center Melvyn Oliver adding eight points in 12 minutes of action and forward Matt Cajuste converting a lead-in pass from Oliver for two points.
Meanwhile, Jackson’s number of three pointers successfully scored surpassed the previous record of nine, formerly held by guard Shaheen Holloway.
Seton Hall also shattered the mark for team scoring in a single game, breaking the record set by the Pirates after a 120-point effort against Scranton in 1962.
Center John Garcia was dressed but did not compete, as he was nursing “swelling in cartilage from past surgeries” according to Gonzalez.
But the Pirates’ head coach added that the decision was “being extra cautious” citing VMI’s propensity to run an up-tempo set. He said that Garcia should return to action for the Temple game.
Brian Wisowaty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.