Seton Hall improved to 3-0 in Big East play and subsequently moved into first place with their 90-87 win over Butler on Saturday afternoon. It is the first time since the 1998-1999 season that the Pirates have opened conference play 3-0. The Pirates overcame an adverse first half and an 11-point deficit in the second half to accomplish the impressive come-from-behind victory.
Early on, neither team could find their stride. There was no scoring in the first two minutes until Khadeen Carrington knocked down two of three shots from the free throw line to give Seton Hall the lead. Following that, it was mainly smooth sailing in the first half for the Pirates.
Seton Hall had trouble knocking down shots in multiple areas for extended periods. The Pirates’ first made three was by Carrington with 3:23 to go, and they finished the half shooting two-for-eight from beyond the arc, and only 55 percent from the line.
The light at the end of the tunnel for Seton Hall once again proved to be Angel Delgado, who ended the first half with 18 points, four rebounds and only one foul. The Pirates kept finding ways to feed Delgado, who single-handedly kept the team in the game.
At the end of the half, Butler lead 40-36, and their bench had outscored Seton Hall’s bench 19-3.
The second half appeared to be much of the same, as Seton Hall found themselves trailing by double digits on multiple occasions.
However, with eight minutes to go, things began to swing in the Pirates’ favor. Carrington, who finished with seven three-pointers and 29 points overall, knocked down two from long range to cut the Bulldogs lead to two.
A few minutes later, Delgado set up both Carrington for a three and Myles Cale for an uncontested dunk to give Seton Hall a longed-for and hard-fought lead.
The game remained neck-and-neck for the remaining handful of minutes, but Myles Powell was able to break through and hit a clutch three off an inbounds play to put Seton Hall up 82-80. Powell finished with nine points despite starting the game on the bench because of a flu.
Delgado grabbed an offensive rebound with 13 seconds to play, giving Powell the chance to seal the deal with two free throws, which he did.
Delgado would later add to the lead with a free throw of his own. His 28 points were a new career-high.
The Pirates continue Big East play on Tuesday at 9 p.m. when they travel to Milwaukee, Wis. to take on Marquette.
Kevin Kopf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @KMKTNF.