Seton Hall’s starters paced the Pirates to victory Sunday afternoon in the second game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Prudential Center. The 75-65 win brings the Pirates’ record to 2-0 on the young season.
Myles Powell was the story of the game, as his presence from three and in the lane largely led Seton Hall out of its early-game rut. The sophomore led the team with 18 points on the afternoon, 13 coming in the first half, along with 7-13 shooting and 4-9 from three.
Powell says that confidence is always a part of his game, no matter the setting.
“I never really lack confidence,” Powell said. “My four seniors, they expect so much from me, so it’s kind of hard to be down on myself. I always try to think positive.”
Before Angel Delgado surged in the second half and finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Powell kept up on the boards as well, putting up four in the game along with his three assists.
“For me, he’s the best shooter in the country,” Delgado said. “He’s gotta keep doing what he’s doing right now, he’s gotta keep shooting.”
Many of the same tendencies that started Seton Hall’s game Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson continued against Monmouth, as the Pirates got off to another slow start. Monmouth capitalized by out-shooting the Pirates on the perimeter to start and forcing a pair of turnovers.
Seton Hall’s defensive pressure was again what got the Pirates back into the game. Khadeen Carrington got the crowd involved with two straight steals that started to boost the Hall to its lead.
Both Carrington and his teammates fed off Monmouth turnovers, which was a big part of Seton Hall’s momentum and the team’s 48-32 lead at halftime. Seton Hall recorded 22 points off 21 Monmouth turnovers. In addition, the Hall feasted in the paint, recording 40 points to Monmouth’s 16.
Monmouth’s Deion Hammond did his best to end Seton Hall’s momentum in the first half with back-to-back three-pointers, but Powell answered that and then some with his play all game.
Overall, Seton Hall’s starters combined for 68 of the team’s 75 points on the day, with each starter contributing at least nine points. Mike Nzei was important in cleaning up the team’s misses in the first half with put-backs and rebounds, recording 10 points and six boards.
Carrington had another strong showing at point with his four assists, as teammates Desi Rodriguez and Powell chipped in with three assists each. As a team, the Pirates assisted on 16 of its 30 field goals, alongside 13 turnovers.
“This group, they like to pass the basketball,” Kevin Willard said. “They’re not caught up in scoring, they’re not caught up in who gets what shots. They kind of know the offense kind of goes through everybody, and again we’re playing with a good pace and we’re popping the ball. No one’s thinking about ‘I have to shoot’… We celebrate the hockey assist (the pass before the assist) as much as the assist.”
While mostly quiet for the first 30 minutes of the game, Delgado came alive down the stretch, tallying his 52nd career double-double. Although he had just five rebounds before entering the final 10 minutes of the game, he made his double-double happen.
On the bench, Myles Cale followed his star debut Friday night with five of the team’s seven bench points today. Sandro Mamukelashvili had the other two.
Willard kept his starters in throughout the end of the game, as Monmouth out-scored Seton Hall 33-27 in the second half. While Willard said the team got a bit stagnant in the second half, the Pirates held on for their second win of the weekend.
The No. 23 Pirates now have two days off before their third of four home games in eight days comes on Wednesday, Nov. 15 against the Indiana Hoosiers. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. for the weekday matchup.
“For me, the next game is always the best,” Delgado said. “We forget about the other two that we won already, we have to be prepared for that team. [Indiana] is a really good team and coming here to get a win, so we gotta really be prepared for them, and I know the guys will do a good job.”
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @eswint22.