Angel Delgado and Khadeen Carrington made statements Friday night, leading Seton Hall to a 91-70 win over Fairleigh Dickinson University in a sold-out Walsh Gymnasium.
Before the action on the floor even started, the Pirates’ Big East Championship and NCAA Tournament banners were unveiled in the on-campus venue. There were 1,856 fans in attendance.
— Seton Hall MBB (@SetonHallMBB) November 11, 2016
With the banners on display, Seton Hall got to work on the new campaign.
Delgado was dominant from the opening tip. Before four minutes passed, he already had four points and four rebounds, setting the tone for the night.
There was a scary moment in the game where the big man was hobbling for multiple plays, but Delgado later checked back in. He picked up right where he left off and would finish with a career-high 22 points and 14 boards.
Carrington and Madison Jones shared the spot at point all night, with Carrington getting the heavy minutes. He was hot from three throughout, going 5-6 from the arc while totaling 27 points.
Seton Hall ended the first half with a 33-28 lead, closer than it would have liked. The Hall had nine giveaways.
“First half jitters, a lot,” Kevin Willard said after the game. “Some of our turnovers were just careless in the first half, and in the first four or five games you expect that.”
In the second half, Seton Hall wasn’t going to let Fairleigh Dickinson hang around any longer. Shooting 78.6 percent as a team in the half, Carrington said it was all about slowing down.
“I mean, we were rushing,” Carrington said.” I had a conversation with Sha [Holloway] at halftime, he told me I was rushing. We watch film at halftime all the time. I just tried to take what the defense gave me, hit all my open shots, that’s stuff I work on. Regular things I work on, I just tried to do.”
All night long, Seton Hall had the paint locked down, forcing Fairleigh Dickinson to shoot from the outside. In result, the Knights took 29 three-pointers, only converting nine of them.
The Pirates also made their own presence known in the paint, outscoring the Knights 52-18.
Making his debut for Seton Hall, Madison Jones put up five points, 10 assists and one turnover. When asked if he was hesitant to shoot the ball, the guard said his focus was elsewhere.
“I just pass the ball,” Jones said. “They do the hard part.”
Kevin Willard breaks down Madison Jones' impact at point guard tonight. pic.twitter.com/otlGrXDMyr
— The Setonian Sports (@SetonianSports) November 12, 2016
The rotation from Willard included a starting lineup of Carrington, Ismael Sanogo, Desi Rodriguez, Jones and Delgado, with Mike Nzei, Myles Powell and Veer Singh getting minutes off the bench. Singh went 2-2 from three, to the excitement of the crowd, and Powell put up seven points on a quiet night.
“I haven’t seen Myles Powell miss four shots yet,” Willard said. “Every time he shoots, I think it’s going in. When I saw him miss the first one, I turned to Sha and I said, ‘I haven’t seen him miss one in three weeks.’”
The head coach also showed doubt in Delgado playing Sunday against Central Connecticut, as he sprained his ankle last week and rolled it again tonight. Delgado, has other plans.
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll be ready Sunday,” he said.
Isaiah Whitehead was also on hand to watch his old team play on a day off from the Brooklyn Nets. He may be on hand as Seton Hall makes its Prudential Center debut Sunday, facing Central Connecticut at 2 p.m.
Willard joked that the former SHU star is around too much.
“I’m trying to get rid of him,” Willard said. “He’s in my office now more than before.”
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @eswint22.