Pirates overcome slow start to pull out an opening night victory

After a sluggish first half that featured nine Seton Hall turnovers, the Pirates kicked things into gear in the second half and pulled away for a 91-70 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday night in the historic Walsh Gym.

Junior guard Khadeen Carrington led the way for Seton Hall with 27 points and was 5-6 from beyond the arc along with junior forward Angel Delgado, who hit 20 points for the first time in his collegiate career and also came down with 14 rebounds. Junior forward Desi Rodriguez also notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Seton Hall came out of the gates slow and held only a 33-28 lead going into halftime. The Pirates turned the ball over nine times in the first half, a large part of their early issues.

“First half jitters, a lot” Head coach Kevin Willard said after the first half came to a close.

Seton Hall was able to shake those jitters in the second half and found themselves, shooting 78 percent from the field in the second half while pulling away for a decisive victory on a night that a Big East championship banner was unveiled.

Notes:

-Angel Delgado left the game for a brief period of time in the first half due to an ankle injury. Willard said it is unclear if Delgado plays on Sunday against Central Connecticut, but Delgado says he will play.

-Freshman Myles Powell had a tough first half, going 0-4 from the field. Powell was able to get things going in the second half, knocking down two consecutive shots. Powell played the most minutes out of any freshman with 20 and will look to be a major part of the rotation moving forward.

-In his first game as a Pirate, Wake Forest transfer Madison Jones got the start at point guard and made the most of it. He notched 10 assists and played a large part in getting Carrington and Delgado good looks all night. Jones will be the starting point guard until Jevon Thomas returns from suspension in December and could potentially keep the job if he continues his strong play.

Next Up: Seton Hall (1-0) takes on Central Connecticut State (1-0) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Prudential Center. The Blue Devils are coming off of an opening night victory over Hartford.

Photo: shupirates.com

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