by Josh Adams
South Orange, NJ-– They say there’s no place like home for the holidays.
Seton Hall felt right at home during this holiday season when they played their annual on-campus game in Walsh Gymnasium on Tuesday night at the #15 Pirates dominated the visiting St. Peter’s Peacocks by the score of 84-61.
The theme for the night was defense. Seton Hall came out in a zone defense that flummoxed the Peacocks and caused them to commit several early turnovers that Seton Hall converted into some early fast break points. The Pirates had a 12-4 lead early while forcing St. Peter’s into taking bad shots from the perimeter. The non-existent offense from the Peacocks while shooting a paltry 9% from the floor midway through the first half helped Seton Hall extendtheir lead to double digits. The end of the first half mercifully ended for St. Peter’s with the Pirates taking a huge lead into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same from a Seton Hall team that seemed to toy with the Peacocks as Angel Delgado started to dominate the interior as he cruised into his fifty-seventh double-double of his career. Pirate forward Desi Rodriguez had 17 points and Delgado had 18 to pace the Pirates to a 84-61 victory.
“Their length is what killed us.” said St. Peter’s Coach John Dunne, “When you’re playing a team of that caliber, you have to hit your open shots and when you don’t, forget it.”
Seton Hall Coach Kevin Willard was pretty forthright about why he kept Delgado in the game after the Pirates built an insurmountable lead in the middle of the second half. “Stats.”, said Willard, “I learned this a long time ago from Coach Pitino. When you have seniors that have a future career in the pros you better take care of their stats and I’m always aware where my guys are stat wise. I make sure they get what I think they need to get.”
Next for the #15 Pirates (9-1) is the Garden State Hardwood Classic where Seton Hall will travel a few exits on the New Jersey Turnpike and play their in-state rivals, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday afternoon. Willard was complimentary about Rutgers and the job Steve Pikiell has done coaching the Scarlet Knights in the past two years saying “I think Steve has done a phenomenal job there at Rutgers.”
Willard then smiled as he walked out of the press conference and said offhandedly, “Steve better say something nice about me too.”