After a rough patch of four losses in five game, Seton Hall bounced back with a controlling 75-65 win over the Creighton Bluejays for its fifth conference victory of the season.
With a starting lineup full of sophomores, head coach Kevin Willard and the Pirates surely are happy with their start to the season and conference play, as well as their chances at an NCAA Tournament berth.
Isaiah Whitehead had arguably his most well-rounded and efficient game as a point guard, leading the team with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting while adding six assists to his night’s total. With each passing game, the second-year guard out of Brooklyn is becoming more comfortable as floor general.
Efficiency was the name of the game for Seton Hall, with four of the five starters shooting 50 percent or better from the field and scoring in double figures. Desi Rodriguez had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double. Angel Delgado recorded 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting as well as 12 boards for his 10th double-double of the season. Ismael Sanogo contributed down low with a career-high 12 points to go along with eight rebounds.
The Pirates had another fantastic night rebounding and continued their success along the boards from when they played St. John’s. Seton Hall out-rebounded Creighton, 46-27, and dominated the offensive glass, not allowing the Bluejays to grab a single one until 30 minutes into the game. The team’s 17 offensive rebounds led to an important 17 second-chance points.
Seton Hall had an excellent first half, building up a 40-27 lead after the first 20 minutes. In the second half, the Pirates opened with a 14-3 run that essentially sealed the win. Whitehead kicked things off with a three-pointer and a jumper in the lane. After Creighton hit a triple of its own, Sanogo hit a layup, the Pirates got a defensive stop and Rodriguez poured in five straight points.
Seton Hall has now won at the CenturyLink Center for the second consecutive season. The Hall also has three road wins under its belt in Big East play, having beaten Marquette and Providence earlier in the season. This year, the Pirates are 11-0 when leading after the first half, and 79-14 all-time under Kevin Willard.
The Pirates will be home for the next two weeks as they kick off a three-game homestand starting Wednesday against Marquette. That game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1.
Bobby Bevilacqua can be reached at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.