Nzei, Rodriguez step up as Seton Hall bests Quinnipiac

Despite a sluggish start and a second-half surge by Quinnipiac (0-4), Seton Hall (4-1) was able to come out with a 90-79 win behind double-doubles from forwards Desi Rodriguez and Michael Nzei.

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Joey Khan/Photography and Digital Editor

Rodriguez led all scorers with 23 points and hauled in 11 rebounds, while Nzei scored a career-high 19 points and came down with 12 rebounds in his first start of the season. Nzei got the start in place of Ismael Sanogo, who did not play due to a shoulder injury that he aggravated in Thursday night’s loss to Florida.

The Pirates came out of the gates slow, allowing Quinnipiac to jump out to a 20-10 lead. From there, Seton Hall responded with a 16-2 to run to get in front. During the run, the Pirates were carried by Rodriguez and Nzei, who were the only players to score during a ten-minute span. Rodriguez and Nzei accounted for 25 of Seton Hall’s 46 first-half points.

The strong performances of Rodriguez and Nzei were well-timed, as Seton Hall did not get much out of the likes of Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado. Delgado only had five points on the night, while Carrington did not score until the 5:25 mark of the first half. The guard would show off his hops in the second half though, slamming home a thunderous dunk.

Ultimately, Seton Hall would take a 46-39 lead into halftime and looked poised to pull away in the second half, but it was not to be as Quinnipiac refused to go away.

Seton Hall built its largest lead of the night at 62-49 going into the under-12 timeout, but the Bobcats came out firing, going on a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 62-60.

Despite the late surge, Quinnipiac was never able to take the lead and the Pirates were able to hang on for a 11-point victory. Freshman guard Peter Kiss led the Bobcats with 19 points on the night, while senior guard Daniel Harris chipped in 18.

While Rodriguez and Nzei did the heavy lifting, Carrington, Myles Powell and Madison Jones also finished the night scoring in double figures.

Next up for Seton Hall will be a fifth-place game with Stanford on Sunday at 7 p.m., which can be seen on ESPNU.

Author: Tyler Calvaruso

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