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For Seton Hall, a Win at Iowa Defines Growth



It was a December night nearly two years ago when the Seton Hall men’s basketball team rolled into Kansas to take on the No. 11 Wichita State Shockers in the team’s first nationally televised game.

At 7-0, the Pirates were fresh off of an inaugural Garden State Hardwood Classic victory over rival Rutgers and were loaded with new faces including freshmen Isaiah Whitehead, Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado. Also in the mix was Desi Rodriguez and Ismael Sanogo.

As game time approached, 10,000 screaming Shocker fans were revved up Charles Koch Arena. Suddenly, a 7-0 record gave way to inexperience.

The Pirates shot 47 percent from the field, 57 percent from the free throw line and found themselves down 15 at the half. All in all, Delgado, had just eight points and Carrington and Rodriguez had two apiece.

In a hostile environment, the Pirates folded and although they lost the game by just nine, 77-68, it really was not close.

On Thursday night, two years later, once inexperienced freshmen Delgado, Carrington and Rodriguez faced another tough challenge as the Pirates headed into Carver-Hawkeye arena to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

This Pirates team was noticeably different. There was no Whitehead who was lost to the NBA but even more so, there was not a group in blue and white that looked overmatched.

With graduate transfer Madison Jones at guard, and an older and more experienced Carrington, Delgado, Rodriguez and Sanogo, the Pirates looked experienced and composed.

Although trailing by two, 44-42, at halftime, the Pirates rallied. Rodriguez had just five points in the first half, but was 7-for-8 from the floor and 2-of-2 from deep to turn in a much needed 20-point second half.

Highly regarded freshman Myles Powell had 26 points off the bench for the Pirates and was a remarkable 5-for-7 from downtown in just his third collegiate game. Powell has certainly been impressive early on as he is now averaging over 15 points or more per game in his first three.

As a team, the Pirates were 19-of-29 from the field in the second half and held Iowa to just 38.7 percent in the final frame.

The growth of the Pirates core is noticeable. With a balanced attack and a composed group on the floor, the Pirates are calm and collected.

Quite a different feel from that December night two years ago.









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