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Pirates Overcome Large Deficit, Shock Shockers

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

The Seton Hall University men’s basketball team overcame a deficit of as many as 13 on Saturday afternoon to defeat the Wichita State Shockers in overtime at the Prudential Center in Newark.

The Pirates spirited comeback was led by sophomores Desi Rodriguez and Isaiah Whitehead. Rodriguez had  18 points, all of which came in the second half, while Whitehead added 17 of his own.

“Desi shot that first air ball early and took himself out of the game a bit,” Seton Hall Head Coach Kevin Willard said. At halftime, I just said, go do what you do really well. Go run down the floor and dunk on somebody. He got a layup and that got him going.”

Sophomore Angel Delgado logged his fourth consecutive double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Khadeen Carrington also contributed 11 points in the win.

Seton Hall scored 11 of its 13 points in the extra period from the free-throw line and held Wichita State, a preseason AP top-10 team, to 11-of-35  rom the field in the second half and overtime combined to help erase the early deficit on a day in which the program debuted throwback Under Armour uniforms that honor the legendary squads of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

The Shockers took an eight-point edge into the intermission and extended the advantage to 49-38 on a Fred VanVleet triple with 13:30 remaining in regulation.

The Pirates would not back down however as they responded by scoring 17 of the next 22 points, a stretch that included a run of nine consecutive points that was capped by a Derrick Gordon slam that gave SHU its first lead since the opening moments at 55-54.

WSU’s Conner Frankamp answered with eight points in a row, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers to put the Shockers back on top, 62-55 inside the final five minutes of the second half.

SHU freshman Veer Singh made perhaps the game’s biggest shot, a 3-pointer from the left corner that pulled the Pirates within one midway through the second half.

Both Rodriguez and Whitehead found the mark on key triples down the stretch and a late layup from Gordon gave Seton Hall another one-point lead at 65-64 with 1:32 on the clock. Wichita State pulled level from the foul line but sophomore Ismael Sanogo, a 57.1 percent free-throw shooter entering the day tipped the scales back in SHU’s favor by sinking two freebies to make it 67-65 with 34 seconds to go.

VanVleet coolly converted on two from the line on the other end though and potential game-winners for each team missed the mark in the final seconds leading into overtime.

The Pirates would prevail in OT sending the 7,000 in attendance home happy, while also sending the nation a message.

The Pirates are back in action on Dec. 22 when they host USF. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30pm.

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