SOUTH ORANGE — New-look Seton Hall fired on all cylinders in an impressive collective effort that featured 30 points on 13 shots from Myles Powell to help down Wagner, 89-49.
After suffering from an exodus of key seniors, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect a handful of growing pains early and often from a much younger Seton Hall.
But instead of a shaky start to the season, the Pirates rode the hot hand of junior Myles Powell (30 pts, 10-13 fg) and latched onto a series of lunch pail traits to build a lead as large as 38 in the second half against the Seahawks.
Powell poured in 20 first half points including a late important three that sparked a timely 12-0 run around the halftime break as his supporting cast took care of the fundamentals: defensive rebounding, a quick transition game, winning 50/50 balls, preventing consecutive hoops, and cutting down on turnovers.
Displaying the team-oriented game necessary to replace four seniors, all ten Pirates who saw time in the first half recorded a rebound within the first 15 minutes of the game to help amass a 41-29 rebounding margin that was more lopsided in the first half.
Elsewhere, Seton Hall played stifling all-around defense over the final 25-30 minutes to the tune of eight blocks, 11 steals, and just three Wagner offensive boards in the first half when the game was close.
The gritty effort in all the non-flashy areas was summed up best by converted walk-on Shavar Reynolds (7 pts, 4 rebs, 3 asts, 3 stls) who padded an impressive stat line which may serve as a warning sign that he is more than just a feel-good off-season story.
Redshirt senior Mike Nzei (11 pts, 7 rebs) was quietly steady on the interior while Seton Hall’s bench accumulated 27 points in the win.