By John Fanta, @John_Fanta
NEWARK — Seton Hall did the expected on Saturday, hammering NJIT 82-53 to move to a perfect 4-0 on the season. What was unexpected was Pirate big man Angel Delgado only playing 16 minutes. The senior star headed to the bench not even two minutes into the second half with what Kevin Willard is a calling a calf tweak.
Willard said Delgado tripped over one of Abdul Lewis’ legs. “I wasn’t going to put him back in,” said the Hall’s head coach. “He’s logged a lot of minutes this season.”
On the court, the Highlanders hung around behind a well-executed game plan by Brian Kennedy, and cut Seton Hall’s lead to four just 90 seconds into the second half. It was then that the Pirates sprung into action, as they have in the second half of their previous three games.
Carrington and Rodriguez combined for back-to-back buckets, sparking a 24-3 run. Highlighting the surge were two Hall freshmen – shooting guard Myles Cale (11 points) and stretch man Sandro Mamukelashvili (11 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks).
Willard had more high praise for “Mamu,” as Hall fans are getting to know him as, saying that the 6-foot-10 freshman brought the Pirates great energy.
While it was an abnormal day in that Delgado didn’t get his traditional double-double, as he did in every home game last season for SHU, the Pirates still controlled NJIT 38-20 in the paint and outrebounded the Highlanders 38-29.
- One Pirate legend praised another on Saturday afternoon. As Myles Cale put up another solid performance in just his fourth game of his Seton Hall career, Isaiah Whitehead had high praise for the freshman.
Mark My Words 🗣
Myles Cale Will Be A Top 10 Pirate Of All Time 🙏🏾⚓️
— Isaiah Whitehead (@IsaiahW_15) November 18, 2017
- Pirate freshman point guard Jordan Walker will be missing more time than originally thought. What was a sprained thumb is actually worse. Willard said postgame that Walker “tore a ligament” in his thumb and could miss “three weeks, maybe more.” That leaves the back-up point guard spot up to Eron Gordon. The sophomore scored seven points to go with three assists and a steal on Saturday.
- The Hall’s schedule amps up this upcoming week. Up next for the Pirates is a date at the Thanksgiving table with Seton Hall alum Dan Hurley and Rhode Island on Thursday at 6 PM ET in the NIT Tip-Off. The Hall will play in the two-day event at the Barclays Center, with Friday’s opponent being either Virginia or Vanderbilt. From there, Seton Hall will face Texas Tech on Nov. 30 at Madison Square Garden before visiting #18 Louisville on Dec. 3. The Pirates wrap up a challenging stretch on Dec. 9 against VCU. No rest for the weary, that’s for sure.
You can follow NIT coverage on Thursday and Friday from Brooklyn by going to @John_Fanta and @NCAAHoopsDigest on Twitter.