Head coach Shaheen Holloway and the men’s basketball team looked to stay hot en route to a 4-0 start for the first time since the 2017-18 campaign, as the Pirates hosted the Wagner Seahawks. Former Seton Hall guard and assistant coach Donald Copeland leads the Seahawks as one of five alumni to coach a Division I program, which is the second most in the NCAA.
Senior forwards Dre Davis and Dylan Addae-Wusu opened the gates with quick layups on consecutive possessions, though a three-pointer from Wagner’s Zaire Williams halted the Hall’s burst. The Pirates shot nearly 60% to start, though only led by one at the 15:43 mark of the first half.
The Pirates went nearly five minutes without scoring until senior guard Kadary Richmond connected on a triple to cut Wagner’s lead, 12-11. Richmond’s score brought life to the Pirates’ offense, sparking a 9-2 run.
Wagner stayed within five through most of the half, though another 9-2 burst led by seven points from Richmond alone sent Seton Hall into the break with a comfortable 10-point lead, 32-22. The 6’6” guard from Brooklyn, NY was used differently down the stretch, seeing time as the tallest player on the floor.
“They went small, so I tried to go small, which was a bad idea,” Holloway said postgame. “I should’ve went with how our team plays.”
Richmond impressed in the first half with 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting and pulled down 7 rebounds. Senior guard Al-Amir Dawes added 10 points in 14 minutes of play, but shot 0-for-3 from distance. The Hall shot a collective 16.7% from behind-the-arc, though Wagner managed to shoot an even more pitiful 15.4% from three in a game dominated by paint presence.
“[Kadary] is in great shape, which is the biggest thing I’ve noticed,” Donald Copeland stated, as he was an assistant coach for the Pirates in Richmond’s first year as a Pirate. “He’s coming into his own and his expectations.”
Following a miss from Davis out of the gate, Seton Hall was scorching from the field and converted on each of their next seven shots on their way to a 50-34 advantage with 12:14 remaining in the game. The Pirates continued to attack, adding a 7-0 burst to that total as they held a commanding 23-point advantage.
Seton Hall took full control of the game and the Seahawks couldn’t manage to cut into the deficit, as the Pirates walked away with an exciting 72-51 victory over Wagner.
Following the game, head coaches Shaheen Holloway and Copeland seemed to have a disagreement in the handshake line due to a late-game foul from Wagner’s Tahron Allen. Player tempers flared after the foul, though just seconds remained in the game.
“Unfortunate situation,” Copeland noted. “I don’t want to get too in-depth. I am embarrassed, I apologize to my team for what went on with that. I respect Sha, I’ve always looked up to him.”
Seton Hall’s head coach Shaheen Holloway added, “I take full responsibility for that. I’m super disappointed and as a big brother, it should’ve never happened. I like Donald. I respect him. He’s a good person, a good player, and a good coach.” He brought up his regrets again, unprompted, at the end of his postgame conference.
Nine Pirates found the back of the rim tonight. Dre Davis led all scorers with 17 points on an efficient 7-for-13 from the field and pulled down six rebounds in just 23 minutes on the court. Graduate center Jaden Bediako had his best performance of the season with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Richmond posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while also dishing 5 assists in the matinee. Dawes added nine points and four assists in the win. Addae-Wusu and freshman forward Isaiah Coleman each contributed seven points.
The Hall improves to 4-0 on the year with all victories coming at home, one of which came from Walsh Gymnasium. The team will travel to San Diego, CA, where they will participate in the Rady Children’s Invitational.
“Definitely exciting,” Davis said. “Excited to travel, play some teams we may not have had the chance to. At the end of the day, it’s about us and not who we’re playing.”
The Pirates’ first opponent will be the University of Southern California on Thurs, Nov. 23 at 5:30 pm.
Thomas Donnelly can be reached at email@example.com.