“We were all on the bench screaming, ‘Get Desi the ball!'”
Nothing like a near-career-high 25 points, including five three-pointers, to lead your team to a 87-56 victory over DePaul on a snowy Saturday afternoon.
“I was feeling it,” Desi Rodriguez said. “I saw the first two go in, when I got a little dunk on the break, so everything started to come together. It was a bit of a sluggish day, so I had to pick it up on the offensive end.”
While mostly quiet in the second half, the talk of the first half was all Rodriguez, as he started the game on a personal 10-0 run and put up 23 points on the half. He was a perfect 5-5 from the three, carrying his team and lighting up Prudential Center with each make.
“When he sees one go in, he’ll starting firing. I thought he played tremendously,” Kevin Willard said. “He also played very good defense.”
A 14-6 start to the game was backed up by five assists off Seton Halls six field goals. That trend continued through the game, as Seton Hall put up a season-high tying 21 assists on 33 shots. DePaul had just four assists on the game.
Willard credited the ball movement and defense to a good week of practice, and going for more simple passes.
“That’s what we do, we play team basketball,” Angel Delgado said.
Seton Hall’s offense was anchored by Rodriguez and Delgado. The big man put up a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double early in the second half, and finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes.
“I just look at the score,” Delgado said. “If we’re winning, I’m happy. If we’re losing, I’m not happy.”
Myles Powell also had a strong day, putting up four three-pointers.
“Coming off the last couple of games, I hadn’t really gotten any shots,” Powell said. “But coach told me just to stay in it.”
A 21-5 run in the second half to give Seton Hall a 33-point lead sealed the deal.
Dalton Soffer, Eron Gordon, Michael Dowdy Jr. and new walk-on Manny Anderson also saw time on the court, Soffer putting up two three-pointers and Gordon adding six points.
The Pirates converted 54.1 percent of their shots from the field, while holding DePaul to 37 percent shooting. The team blew open a 10-point halftime lead to a 31-point win, which tied the largest margin of victory in Seton Hall history for a Big East conference game.
With the win, Seton Hall improved to 12-3 on the season and 2-1 in Big East play.
Next, the Pirates head on a road trip, playing three games in six days. Seton Hall kicks it off on Wednesday, Jan. 11 against Marquette, with tip off at 7 p.m.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @eswint22.