Second half surge sees Seton Hall past Ole Miss, 75-63

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An 18-6 second half run from Seton Hall broke the game open as nine Pirates scored in an important 75-63 win over Ole Miss at the Charleston Classic.

Isaiah Whitehead scored 12 of his 17 in the second half while a strong supporting cast of Angel Delgado (8 pts, 11 rebs), Desi Rodriguez (12 pts), Khadeen Carrington (10 pts, 5 asts) and Ismael Sanogo (6 pts, 7 rebs) all contributed their fair shares.

The game began in a sloppy and forgettable fashion. Both Seton Hall and Ole Miss came out at a high tempo, but handfuls of quick, ill-advised shots were hoisted early and often, most of which missed.

Knowing Seton Hall isn’t overly adept from long range, Ole Miss showed a lot of zone early and were efficient at scooping up offensive rebounds, the Rebels had 18 in the game. Derrick Gordon (9 pts, 3 rebs) saw his first start of the season in place of Isaiah Whitehead, who returned two minutes into the game after a concussion scare that sidelined him for the last 20 minutes of the Bradley game on Friday night.

It wasn’t until just before the first half’s under-four media timeout did the game really start to entertain. Seton Hall scored eight points in a matter of 90 seconds by way of a nice outlet feed from Whitehead to Carrington and back-to-back triples from Carrington and Veer Singh; Ole Miss scored five points of their own over the same span to give the game a nice jolt going into the half.

The second half was injected by the late energy of the first as both teams came racing out of the break. It took five minutes of back and forth play that slightly favored Ole Miss until Seton Hall really sprang to life. First it was Derrick Gordon, who scored seven straight points that included a few hard fouls. Then, it was Mike Nzei (9 pts, 5 rebs) who once again provided an unforeseen second half spark with two baskets that followed a bad turnover from Isaiah Whitehead.

Instead of things going in the wrong direction, everyone responded well to Whitehead’s mistake, most importantly the point guard himself. The turnover, his fifth of the game, came after three missed shots to open the half and could have easily resulted in Isaiah losing his focus. Instead, Whitehead went on to score 12 points and dish three assists over the final 11 minutes.

The surge that was created by Gordon and perpetuated by Nzei and Whitehead ballooned into an 18-6 run after Seton Hall had fell behind 42-40. Ole Miss would cut their deficit back down to five with six to play, but with Whitehead leading the charge and everyone contributing, the Pirates’ lead was never really in doubt the rest of the way.

This was a really important win for Seton Hall after losing to Long Beach State and notching a win against a weak Bradley team to start the Charleston Classic. Ole Miss will most likely be a top-60 team this season and a win here helps salvage something for the Hall after a rocky start in South Carolina

  • LBP

    Thanks Chris– The Hall looked better -shame Whitehed continues his me first attitude (being late to the bus was reason he did not start)–he actually is a good Team player when he tries.

  • PadrePirate

    Chris, good to see the guys salvage something from this tournament. I hope you’ll have time for a wrap up, of what we learned from these three games and where it leaves us.

    Two questions:

    1.) Play in the paint: I would really like to see Angel take 10 shots a game. Is this reasonable? He seems to be under-producing, but I don’t know if it’s simply because he’s not getting the touches. I don’t see him in much foul trouble this year so far. Would you be able to tally our points-in-the-paint for the season? How do we stand there?

    2.) Assists: So far, I think our TO’s out number our Assists, especially from our starting point guard. I think we will be successful when IW has 8+ assists in a game, like vs. Dartmouth. How do we rank in those two stats compared to other DI teams?

    Thanks.

    • Matty P

      To help answer your assists to TOs question I took a look at ESPN’s stats and the team is currently ranked 258 with a 0.85 assist/TO rate. The team overall has 55 assists to 65 TOs for the season. The major reason for this difference is actually due to Delgado who has 3 assists to 12 TOs. Whitehead for the season is 17 assists to 11 TOs. While the number doesn’t look bad he’s had a mostly even assist/TO rate in the past couple games which he should definitely look to improve.

      Also for the first question, Delgado is shooting an average of 6-7 shots per game right now. Perhaps he’s got a little less shots bc of the TOs.

      • PadrePirate

        Thanks. Helpful.

        In the one game I saw this season (Wagner), Angel was fed down low just a few times. Most often, in the Willard era offense, the PFs play high at the top of the key setting lazy screens until someone shoots or drives. It seems rare that there is anything like a drawn up play for the post.

        For years, KW let mobley live on the perimeter chucking 3s.

        TOs or not, I still like to see Angel get more shots per game.

        • PadrePirate

          Also, I think IW has more hidden TOs if you factor in bad shot selection

          • ThePirateFan

            Definitely. His carelessness with the ball goes beyond the Ast/TO ratio

        • ThePirateFan

          I’d like to see Angel get more touches as well. It’s as if people expect him to get 12 pts/game from O Rebounds alone. FEED THE MAN!!

  • Andrew Herbst

    It’s encouraging how we responded after our tough loss to Long Beach St. It was important for us to win those next 2 games. I liked how Whitehead was composed down the stretch and didn’t let turnovers affect him. Hopefully we can keep up this balanced attack with so many different guys scoring. Looking forward to our next game against Georgia. Go Pirates.

  • Matty P

    One nice thing to see was that SHU did a nice job in this game of limiting the damage done by Moody. Forced him into his lowest point total and highest TO game for the season. So many times in the past couple of seasons we’ve seen this type of player go off and score 20-30 points.

    • HallBall10

      I agree. I thought Willard had a good game plan to shut down Moody. And it helps to have guys like Ish and Desi would can guard multiple positions and can switch on screens and guard players like moody.

      • ThePirateFan

        Agree 100%, Ish and Desi give this team a lot of defensive flexibility. Their on-ball defense combined with a shorter shot clock (teams typically switch all screens late in the shot clock e.g. Gibbs’ game winner in the BET a couple years ago) will help this team’s DEF a lot. It’s a shame Willard is all about doubling the ball high in the half court which leads to too many lay-ups.