The Pirates snapped their three-game losing streak on Sunday with an 86-73 statement win over Big East foe St. John’s.
St. John’s came out aggressively, issuing a full court press and an offense that pushed the envelope with intensity and quick ball movement.
Seton Hall was able to break the press with ease after struggling with it against Villanova though, finding good shots while displaying solid ball movement all afternoon.
“We worked on it for three days,” Kevin Willard said of breaking St. John’s press. “We just worked on being a little crisper in getting the ball up the court and being more aggressive in attacking.”
Meanwhile, stifling first half defense from the Pirates forced the Johnnies into a drought where they missed 10 of 11 shots. It opened the window for the Hall.
Meanwhile, Angel Delgado was being fed down low. At halftime, the big man had already accumulated 14 rebounds, just one shy of St. John’s first half total.
“He looked like Moses Malone tonight to me,” Chris Mullin, St. John’s coach and an NBA Hall of Famer, said.
Delgado finished the night with a double-double of 20 boards and 21 points on 10-17 shooting, the first 20-20 game by a Big East player since 2010.
“It feels great. That was my dream.” Delgado said of reaching the milestone. “When I came to school I said one day I got to get 20 and 20 and I did it.”
Pacing the Johnnies was freshman guard Marcus LoVett, who poured in a game-high 22 points while shooting more than 50 percent from the floor.
Delgado and company were also able to find great looks inside, scoring 46 of their 86 points from within the paint.
The precise and fluid ball movement led by Khadeen Carrington’s season-high eight assists sparked Seton Hall’s interior scoring but additionally aided in spacing the floor for its shooters.
Leading the Hall in hitting three three-pointers was Myles Powell, who scored nine of his 19 points from deep.
“It felt good getting back,” Powell said of returning home after a three-loss road trip. “A couple days in practice my teammates were just picking me up – telling me to keep shooting the ball – telling me they still believe in me. I just wanted to prove that I was the same player I was at the beginning of the year, and that’s what I did.”
Contributing as well was Ismael Sanogo, who knocked down his first collegiate three-point shot. Mike Nzei also had 10 points in the paint.
Seton Hall will try to continue its success at home when SHU hosts the Butler Bulldogs at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Kyle Kasharian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ItsKyleKash.