MBB dominates USF for first true road win
Seton Hall Athletics
The Seton Hall men's basketball team? brought its fast pace into the Sun Dome, got hot early, and never looked back on Thursday night, drubbing South Florida 89-69.
The Pirates' offensive balance was at its high point of the season, as five players scored in double figures. Angel Delgado shot the ball 5-of-6 from the field in the first half, leading him to a 16-point night. The 6-foot-10 big man garnered six boards, which is four off of his average, but the Pirates' hot shooting kept the blue and white from having to take advantage on the glass. The Hall shot 28-52 from the floor, and 11/20 from beyond the arc.
"Angel's really become a great asset for us so quickly," head coach Kevin Willard said. "Right now, our guys are running a lot of the offense through him because they know he can get the job done when he has the basketball."
"My guys know that they can take any shot," Willard said. "I like to say 'make it rain' to them."
The Pirates broke away from an 8-6 lead with a 7-2 run completed by a one-handed slam by Delgado to make it 15-8 with 15:07 to play in the first half. From there, the closest USF got was within five of the Pirates. Isaiah Whitehead, scored a crucial trey to break a drought that lasted nearly three minutes, giving the Pirates a 31-20 advantage with 6:41 to go in the first half. The repeat Big East Rookie of the Week finished with 10 points. The Pirates' lead built as high as 13 when Khadeen Carrington chipped in his lone field goal of the night to make it 41-28. Carrington finished with eight free throws, giving him 10 of SHU's 29 bench points. One of two treys by Haralds Karlis gave the Pirates a 45-33 lead that they took into the half.
In the second half, the two teams combined to take 44 free throws, with the Pirates hitting 17/25. In all, nine players scored for Seton Hall and 11 saw action, including Chier Ajou, who made his debut.
Seton Hall (9-1) keyed in on shutting down one of the most lethal scorers in the American Athletic Conference, Corey Allen Jr., holding the wing to eight points. He has been among the top scorers in the AAC with 16.1 points-per-game coming into the night.
Chris Perry and Ruben Guerrero combined for 29 points, while Anthony Collins recorded 10 assists for USF. It was The Hall's perimeter defense that made the difference on Thursday, as SHU held the Bulls to 0-9 shooting from deep. The adjustment was made on Guerrero, who went scoreless in the second half.
"We wanted to be sure that they would not get anything rolling from beyond the arc, because they have not been great from there all year and we did not want to see what would happen if that did," Willard said. Calling USF's three-point shooting "not great" may have been an understatement. The Bulls came into the night shooting just 28 percent from deep.
The Pirates will travel north for their non-conference road finale at Georgia on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. John Fanta can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JohnFanta.