The Seton Hall men’s basketball team handled the first test of its Pacific road trip Tuesday night, defeating Hawaii 68-57 in front of a crowd of largely service men and women in Bloch Arena in Pearl Harbor.
Before action took place on the hardcourt, festivities began with a salute to those service men and women, with Khadeen Carrington and Madison Jones reciting the pledge of allegiance alongside Gibson Johnson and Mike Thomas of Hawaii.
Once the game began, both sides put on a show for the military members in attendance. The game was fast and hectic, but it suited the Pirates as they managed to capture 10 steals in the first half alone. Carrington, Angel Delgado and Desi Rodriguez combined for 23 of the Pirates’ first 25 points, with Rodriguez adding two more dunks to his already extensive highlight reel.
The Pirates entered the break playing possibly their most proactive half of the season, and yet still only held an eight-point lead.
The second half began with the same back-and-forth rhythm that most of the first half exhibited, but Pirate fans would receive a scare about midway through when Rodriguez exited the game with a thigh injury. Rodriguez did not re-enter the game, but head coach Kevin Willard told Fox Sports 1 during a postgame interview that the injury should not keep Rodriguez out of Wednesday’s game against California.
With Rodriguez out, the Hall turned to Carrington and Jones, as the two guards combined for 22 second-half points. It was a solid performance for Jones, who comes from a military family. His grandfather fought in the Vietnam War, while his two brothers served in the army.
Carrington ended up leading the way for the Pirates, scoring 19 points and shooting an impressive 3-4 from beyond the arc. Down in the front court, Delgado recorded his 27th career double-double, adding 16 points and 14 rebounds.
The Pirates will be back to the court Wednesday night as they play California in their second and final game at the Pearl Harbor Invitational at 7 p.m.
James Justice can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JamesJusticeIII.