It was a night of history for Myles Powell on Friday, as he scored his 1,000th career point in Seton Hall’s 64-54 win over Hawaii at the Wooden Legacy Tournament.
The low-scoring match saw many momentum shifts, but it was ultimately decided when Powell was able to catch fire and score 12 of his 19 points in the final 12 minutes of the contest.
On top of Powell, Michael Nzei added 16 points and six rebounds and Myles Cale and Taurean Thompson combined for another 18 points.
The Pirates started out slow and did not score until the 17:35 mark when Cale hit a three-pointer. The two teams continued to trade buckets for the rest of the half, but Seton Hall led 25-23 at the half.
Neither team could gain control to start the second half, though Hawaii held on to a 34-31 lead with under 15 minutes left to play. Seton Hall then caught fire and went on a 12-0 run to give itself the biggest lead of the game. Nzei chipped in four of the 12 points in the crucial swing.
Hawaii cut the lead to as little as three at one point, but the Pirates were able to take advantage of free throws – something they have not done all season – and keep pace. Five straight points from Sandro Mamukelashvili and two three-pointers from Powell gave the Pirates a steady 12 points advantage with just over three minutes remaining.
The final score is a testament to how well Seton Hall played defensively, as the team forced 15 turnovers from Hawaii.
The win puts the Pirates on a two-game winning streak and, most importantly, propels them into the championship game of the tournament.
Seton Hall will go up against an undefeated Miami team with a chance for a signature win. The Sunday night matchup is set to tip at 10:30 p.m. EST and can be viewed on ESPN2.
Matthew Mlodzinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Mlodzinski_15.