Courtesy of Seton Hall Athletics. ©
By David Cordova
Last season, the Pirates of Seton Hall made their presence felt throughout the country, finishing No. 20 in the Associated Press poll, a 25-9 record, a Big East championship and a first-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. This season, they’ve been on a mission. Gone are Braeden Anderson, Derrick Gordon and Haggerty Award winner Isaiah Whitehead, now a rookie with the Brooklyn Nets. Prior to the game, the Pirates were 4-2, with wins against FDU, Central Connecticut State and Iowa. Against Columbia, the Pirates would show how potent their attack is.
Seton Hall 95, Columbia 71
Early on, the Pirates were in attack mode, running off to a 14-5 lead within the first six minutes of the game, highlighted by two three-pointers by freshman Myles Powell & a bunch of baskets by junior Desi Rodriguez.
But the Lions were paced by freshman guard Mike Smith, who had 10 points, and helped keep them close as they trailed 20-18, with less than 11 minutes to go.
Then, Seton Hall got their momentum back as they started feeding the ball to the low post to junior forward Angel Delgado, who capitalized on Columbia’s deficiencies with his rebounding & strong moves to the cup to help the Pirates lead 42-31, with less than three minutes in the first half. They would take a ten-point lead, 47-37, into halftime.
As the second half started, Columbia continued to threaten the Pirates lead, only trailing by eight, 53-45 with 15:39 remaining in the game. Smith continued to dominate with his scoring prowess. But the efforts of Powell and the other Seton Hall players helped keep them up ten, 58-48, with 14:33 to go. His shooting then broke open the game, bringing the Pirates up fourteen, 66-52, with 12:58 to go.
As the half wore on, the Lions would have no answer for their counterparts as the Pirates would raise the lead to twenty-one, 81-60, with 7:58 to go. The Pirates would hold on for their fifith win of the season in a in a runaway victory.
Powell led Seton Hall with 21 points, Delgado added 19 points & 11 rebounds and both Rodriguez and fellow junior Khadeen Carrington added 17 points. For Columbia, Smith added 23 points and sophomore Quinton Adlesh added 12 points and senior Luke Petrasek and sophomore Lukas Meisner both added 11 points in the loss.