Led by dominant all-around play in the frontcourt, Seton Hall coasted to a 77-48 victory over LIU-Post in its final scrimmage before the regular season on Saturday evening in Walsh Gymnasium.
Senior Desi Rodriguez led the way for Seton Hall with 18 points, while senior Khadeen Carrington added 13 points and freshman Myles Cale chipped in 10 points. The Pirates were without sophomore Myles Powell and senior Ismael Sanogo, who sat out due to u “minor team violations”, according to head coach Kevin Willard.
“Just a little minor team violation,” Willard said. “Nothing major, just minor. Just keeping both of them on track, they’ll be back on Friday.”
The win came off the heels of a three-hour practice on Friday, one day after the team defeated La Salle 87-74.
“We practiced for three hours yesterday after playing on Thursday night,” Willard said. “That was more or less just trying to get our motors going, I knew we were going to be a little slow and tired not from the game on Thursday, but really from practicing long and hard yesterday.”
The Pirates had their way with the LIU-Post big men all game, dominating on both ends of the floor. Freshman Sandro Mamukelashvili had a big day on the glass, coming down with 13 rebounds and adding four blocks. Angel Delgado and redshirt junior Michael Nzei added nine and 11 rebounds, respectively. On the offensive end, Seton Hall outscored the Pioneers 34-12 in the paint and out-rebounded 54-28, including 15 offensive rebounds in the second half alone.
“[Mamukelashvili]’s doing a lot of good things,” Willard said. “Once Sandro gets what to do at that four spot with that length, he could really help Angel [Delgado].”
After an LIU-Post three-pointer to open the game, Rodriguez opened the scoring for the Pirates and Carrington went on to contribute for Seton Hall’s other seven points as the Pirates held a 9-6 lead at the U-16 timeout.
From that point, the Seton Hall offense got into a rhythm thanks to a balanced scoring effort from Rodriguez, Delgado, Carrington and Cale.
The second half was more of the same for the Pirates, as Seton Hall continued to control the tempo on both ends and maintained a 20-point lead throughout. LIU-Post improved its scoring in the second half, scoring 30 points to Seton Hall’s 37, but the first half hole was too much, as Seton Hall held on for a comfortable 77-48 win.
For Seton Hall, the second half featured a lot of freshman point guard Jordan Walker running the show, occasionally sharing the floor with Carrington, which allowed Carrington to play off the ball in the absence of Powell. Seven-foot-two big man Romaro Gill did not take the floor until late in the second half, but made an instant impact with a blocked shot.
Walk-ons Philip Flory and Shavar Reynolds saw some playing time too, with Flory hitting a three and Reynolds knocking a ball loose to force a shot-clock violation.
“All of those guys play with great energy,” Willard said of Walker, Flory and Reynolds. “We had three guys dive on the floor, we had a big block by Ro [Gill] and I think for the last five minutes that unit played with great energy.”
With Saturday’s convincing win, the preseason is now in the books, with the Pirates first game of the regular season coming at home against Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 10.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.