by Josh Adams
Indianapolis, IN– We’ve seen this before from this Seton Hall Pirates basketball team.
The Pirates have a knack for absorbing another team’s best punches and still walking off the floor as a winner. That’s precisely what Seton Hall did today at Hinkle Fieldhouse against Butler. Down by as much as eleven in the second half, the Pirates didn’t buckle. Instead, they started using a full-court press that caused some quick turnovers and turned the game around. As a shell-shocked 8,855 Butler fans tried to will their team to the finish line, the Bulldogs were just dog-tired. In the end, Seton Hall iced the game from the free throw line as the Pirates remain as the only unbeaten team in the Big East by winning by the score of 90-87.
The game plan focused in on Angel Delgado from the start . The senior was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 18 points while dominating the interior. Butler stood their ground with consistent play from their starting five. The Bulldogs took a 40-36 lead into halftime.
The second half started the Bulldogs way as they built a eleven point buffer with ten minutes left in the game. At this point the Pirates switched to a full-court press that caused a few turnovers and senior guard Khadeen Carrington hit two three pointers in a row that quickly brought the Pirates back into the game. Carrington hit another three pointer at the seven minute mark to tie the game at 68. The lead switched several times down the stretch but sophomore Myles Powell hit a three pointer with 2:15 left that gave Seton Hall the lead for good.
Delgado had another one of his signature games with 28 points and 15 rebounds. Carrington had a game high 29 points for Seton Hall (14-2, 3-0 BE).
Pirates Coach Kevin Willard was complimentary of his All- American candidate Delgado in the press conference after the game. “We’ve seen it all this year”, said Willard. ” If he (Angel) makes his free throws these are the numbers he will have all year long. To me he’s the best big man in all of college basketball.”
It hasn’t been an easy stretch for Butler in the past three games. After beating then #1 Villanova here in Hinkle, they traveled and lost to #5 Xavier and returned home today to face a #21 ranked Pirates team that beat them here last season. There was a coaching change here in Butler but the Bulldogs have shown that they haven’t missed a beat under LaVall Jordan’s watch at the helm of this wildly successful program. Butler’s Kelan Martin has been phenomenal this season and led the Bulldogs today with 27 points. Kamar Baldwin had 14 in a losing effort for Butler (12-5, 2-2 BE) who travels to play Creighton on Tuesday.
Seton Hall travels to Milwaukee next to take on Marquette on Tuesday. Today’s victory was the second straight win for Seton Hall at Butler and the team showed a national TV audience that this Pirates team has the depth and the experience to neuter the crowd at hostile visiting arenas like Hinkle Fieldhouse.