RAPID REACTION: No. 23 Seton Hall out-fights Wagner 89-68

NEWARK — Seton Hall used hot first-half shooting and a nearly flawless bounce-back game from Khadeen Carrington (26p, 6-6 3pt, 3a) to take down Wagner 89-68 in a chippy one.

The Hall brushed off any hangover from their loss to Rutgers and got out to a nice start via a pair of offensive boards and two threes, showing offensive fluidity that was absent in the second half at the RAC.

Khadeen Carrington hit a trio of early threes before adding an old-fashioned three-point play en route to a 38-25 lead at the under-eight. Wagner would cut to eight at 38-30, but the Pirates responded with a run of their own.

Wagner’s feisty nature prevented this one from getting out of hand on the scoreboard, but it nearly got out of hand on the court as the game turned oddly physical for a non-league contest as Jordan Walker didn’t play but was dressed in full uniform.

Seton Hall improves to 10-2 and will prepare for Manhattan as they close their non-league schedule out on Saturday.

Three thoughts

The guys looked relieved to be back at the Rock after a two-game hiatus. After hitting just two of his last 13 from three,  Carrington knocked down all six of his attempts and the Hall started 6-of-9 from range. Further, the team assisted on 13 of their 18 first half field goals en route to 20 total. As I said pre-game, it looked like they were swinging a bat without the doughnut.

This one was a lot chippier than it should have been. Jerry Carino overhead the officials warning Wagner’s Bashir Mason about excessive trash talk at the end of the first half, then Desi Rodriguez engaged in his usual extra-curricular activities after the whistle — including a back-and-forth with Wagner’s Romone Saunders which led to Rodriguez injuring himself on an attempted posterization of Saunders mid-way through the second half; Rodriguez would return from the bench a few minutes later. Saunders received a technical shortly after taunting Rodriguez as he was sprawled on the court, then Carrington picked up one of his own after taunting then getting tangled up with JoJo Cooper after he blocked the Seahawks guard on the break later in the half.

The Hall kept Blake Francis and JoJo Cooper in check. The guard duo accounted for 43-percent of Wagner’s scoring coming into the game, but the Pirates held Francis scoreless with a pair of turnovers at the half and the two combined for 22 points on 25 shots, 5 assists and 5 turnovers.