Photo courtesy of Seton Hall Athletics/Gabe Rhodes
By David Cordova
There are plenty of rivalries in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area that bring plenty of interest to the public. But one of the most prominent rivalries reside in the Big East, between the Seton Hall Pirates and the St. John’s Red Storm.
This season, the Pirates have enjoyed plenty of success on the court in their non-league schedule with wins over big-time programs like Iowa, California, Hawaii, South Carolina and Rutgers. But when in conference play, they struggled as they were 2-4 prior to today’s matchup.
St. John’s on the other hand, has gone through another trying season, with losses to Minnesota, Michigan State, VCU, Delaware State, LIU and Penn State, but had wins against programs such as Tulane and former Big East rival Syracuse, who is now a member of the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference). In conference play, they were 3-4 prior to today’s game.
On this day, both teams would meet up at the Prudential Center, with the Red Storm leading the annual series against the defending Big East champions, 58-37. However, in the teams’ last five meetings, the Pirates have gone 3-2, including a season sweep last season in their previous two meetings. Today’s game would show an indication as to where both teams are in this season.
Seton Hall 86, St. John’s 73
From the start, both teams played tight defense on each other and made the most of the possessions. Every basket made was one that to be earned with hard drives to the cup. Seton Hall led 11-10, with 14:26 to go in the first half, as their rebounding helped them gain an edge early on. Then moments later, due to baskets by junior forward Angel Delgado and sophomore forward Michael Nzei, the Pirates then ran off to an 8-0 run to build a 17-10 lead, with 12:40 to go.
The Red Storm struggled through most of the half as they getting out-rebounded single-handedly by Delgado and were being outscored in the paint, as well as missing easy baskets. As the half wore on, the Pirates continued to punish them with their shooting, as a three-pointer by graduate student Madison Jones gave them a 24-15 lead with 7:56 to go.
The woes of the Red Storm continued as the Pirates continued to wreak havoc on them offensively and then brought their lead up to fourteen, 34-20, with 3:10 to go in the half. The Pirates would then go on to a 20-point lead at halftime, 46-26. In the first half, Seton Hall shot 46% from the field, while St. John’s shot 31%. The Pirates also won the battle on the rebounds, 30-15, and points in the paint, 24-8.
As the second half wore on, the Pirates continued to outscore their counterparts, as the Red Storm could handle their offensive attack. St. John’s would manage to cut their deficit to twelve, 80-68, with 3:53 to go in the half. But Seton Hall would never relinquish the lead and held on for the victory.
Delgado led Seton Hall with 21 points and 20 rebounds and freshman guard Myles Powell added 19 points. For St. John’s, freshman guard Marcus LoVett led with 22 points and four assists, while junior forward Bashir Ahmed added 19 points and seven rebounds in the loss.