13 second half points from Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado’s fourth double-double of the season were enough for Seton Hall to slog past Hawaii 68-57 in their opening Pearl Harbor Invitational game.
After flying 5,000 miles, Seton Hall used a 12-2 first half run to build a multi-possession lead that held Hawaii at an arm’s length for most of the game before a six-point sequence from Madison Jones late in the second half finally put the Rainbow Warriors to bed.
Seton Hall was able to force turnovers on Hawaii’s first three possessions and took advantage before a 10-1 ‘Bow run produced a 10-8 lead and marked a sloppy passage of play.
Hawaii was kept alive by a trio of unlikely three-balls until a 12-2 run from Seton Hall was capped off by a triple and a free throw from Myles Powell (7 pts) in his second start as a Pirate.
Angel Delgado (16 pts, 14 rebs) nearly registered his fourth double-double before the half while Desi Rodriguez (11 pts, 5 rebs) was active in all facets of the game including two rim-shaking first half dunks.
Leading 29-18, Kevin Willard’s team had a chance to bury their semi-hosts but were kept at bay due to some loose passing and settling for jump shots.
After coming out of the half with a 33-25 lead, Seton Hall started quick but then fell into their second funk of the game when Rodriguez was hobbled with a thigh injury he picked up driving through the lane that sidelined him for most of the remainder.
It seemed as though the Pirates carried an eight-point advantage through a majority of the second half in the midst of neither team being able to establish a significant offensive run and Hawaii shooting 32-percent from the floor.
Seton Hall’s (mainly Delgado) inability to make free throws (12-for-25) prevented a sustained double-digit lead until Madison Jones (11 pts) converted on a pair of three-point plays to give the Pirates their largest lead of the game at 62-48 heading into the final media break.
Jones first forced a turnover and was then fouled on a defensive goaltend before making a free throw. The next possession, Madison hit just his second three of the season from Khadeen Carrington drive and dish that found his backcourt mate in the corner.
The dime from Carrington put the icing on what was a personally strong second half en route to 19 points; the Brooklyn native was playing with a heavy heart after losing a childhood friend just days prior.
Seton Hall must play better against Cal. Forget the NCAAs last season, this is a completely piecemeal Hawaii team that won’t beat many D-I teams with the offensive performance they showed on Tuesday night. Willard’s bunch was 12-of-25 from the line, though Angel Delgado’s 2-of-10 mark is mostly to blame; it looked like he was just mentally rattled as the game went on. Cal is banged up but much more talented than Hawaii — it will be interesting to see if Desi Rodriguez’s thigh is good to go tomorrow night.
Points off turnovers were huge in this game. The Hall won the battle 25-9, forcing 18 while also coughing the rock up 14 times themselves. The game started with three consecutive stops and everyone was getting involved with creating deflections, from Jones to Desi to Myles Powell. Hawaii was ranked 248th in offensive efficiency coming into the game, but creating turnovers has also been a weakness of Seton Hall’s this season.
Bloch Arena definitely impacted the game. Both teams got off to cold starts from the field with Seton Hall missing some mid- and long-range jumpers while Hawaii looked impotent offensively throughout. It seemed as though the Pirates were able to gain some momentum as the game went on and 6-of-13 from deep is fairly efficient. It looked as though players were sweating more than usual due to the arena temperature and it appeared that Kevin Willard was getting in an official’s ear in the first half about not stopping play to dry the court.