The Seton Hall Pirates men’s basketball team opened the 2023-24 college basketball season at the Prudential Center, hosting the Saint Peter’s Peacocks on Monday. Coming into the matchup, the Pirates looked to extend their 13-game home opener win streak.
Saint Peter’s opened the gates at the 17:45 mark of the first half with a Latrell Reid triple, while The Hall didn’t convert on a field goal until nearly a minute later. Senior forward Dylan Addae-Wusu found senior guard and captain Al-Amir Dawes open in the corner after a cold start for the Pirates. Senior guard Kadary Richmond followed with his first bucket of the season to tie the game at 5.
Dawes poked the ball loose and found a blitzing Dre Davis for an electric slam to give the Pirates a 3-point advantage. The Peacocks battled back with an 8-0 run that was broken up by freshman forward Isaiah Coleman’s first collegiate basket to cut the Saint Peter’s lead to one, 13-12, with 14 minutes remaining.
A near 4-minute field goal drought from the Pirates on the horizon, graduate center Jaden Bediako dropped the ball into the hoop to make it a one-point game once again, 23-22.
Neither team was able to carve out a lead larger than five in the first half. A Reid layup gave Saint Peter’s a 27-22 advantage, though Seton Hall slowly carved into it with a Richmond layup followed by two makes by Coleman from the free throw line.
Headed into the half, the Peacocks held on to a 1-point advantage, 27-26. Reid led all scorers in the first half with 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting. For the Pirates, Kadary led the way with nine points and three rebounds. Davis followed with four points and four rebounds, while Jaden Bediako pulled down five first-half boards.
“[Our bigs will] get better as time comes,” Kadary added on behalf of his front court following a combined eight points and five rebounds from the trio of Bediako, sophomore Sadraque NgaNga, and junior Elijah Hutchins-Everett.
Seton Hall shot 34.6% from the field in the first half, while Saint Peter’s shot 40.7% from the field. There were 10 total lead changes in the first twenty minutes of action.
Richmond sank two free throws out of the break to help The Hall retake the lead early. The Peacocks used five straight points to shift the lead once again, and a Richmond and-one followed by an Addae-Wusu layup continued the back-and-forth.
Another field goal drought from Seton Hall, which went on for five minutes, allowed Saint Peter’s to take its biggest lead of the game, 47-41. Davis connected on his first triple of the season on the very next play, which led to a timeout.
The Davis triple ignited the Seton Hall offense, as a 13-3 run ensued to give the Pirates a 54-50 advantage thanks to five points from both Dawes and Addae-Wusu during the stretch. Dawes stayed hot and connected on two more triples that boosted Seton Hall to its biggest lead of the night at six points with just 3:50 left in the game.
“Coach Sha told me to do me, and just go out there and play my game. I was able to get my mind right,” Dawes said of his second half showing.
Seton Hall didn’t look back and were able to steal the victory from Saint Peter’s, 70-59. Richmond led the way with an outstanding performance, as he scored 18 points, pulled in six rebounds and dished seven assists in an all-around effort. Dawes followed with 14 points on an efficient 4-for-7 from downtown and Davis added 14 points and six rebounds.
For Saint Peter’s, Reid led with 14 points, Michael Houge added 11 points, while freshman Armoni Zeigler scored 10 points that was highlighted by a monster slam late in the second half.
“Gotta give Saint Peter’s credit,” Coach Sha noted. “I told the guys they were gonna scratch and claw.”
Seton Hall capitalized at home and will look to continue their success in the young season as they host Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Walsh Gymnasium at 4:00 p.m.
Thomas Donnelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.