What a week it’s been for Kevin Willard and his Seton Hall Pirates. They collected two huge victories, first against #23 Texas Tech (89-79) last Thursday in the Under Armour Reunion at Madison Square Garden, and then on Sunday night, beating #17 Louisville 79-77, in the Billy Minardi Classic (in Louisville). Coming off their last second loss to URI at the Barclays Center, Seton Hall needed to bounce back, and they did so in a big way!
The Red Raiders of Texas Tech, brought the #1 ranked defense in the country (holding their opponents on average to 56.4 points per game) with them to The Rock. Well, that did not seem to phase the Pirates who finished the game scoring 89 points. Talk about an offensive performance. Trailing 42-39 at halftime, SHU exploded for 50 points in the second stanza to overwhelm TTU. It was no surprise that Desi Rodriguez led The Hall again in scoring, finishing with 24 points. Sophomore guard Myles Powell added 18 points, including a clutch 8 during a late run to put the game away.
Photo: The Setonian
Sunday’s win in Louisville is huge. Not only was it was nationally televised on ESPN2 and played in front of a sold out crowd, but it is one that the NCAA committee will think very highly of come March. This win is crucial for Seton Hall, given that it was on the road against a tough and highly talented Cardinals squad. The Pirates proved to be a team that belonged back in the Top 25, and this back and forth win which had all the markings of a tournament game is just further proof. Rodriguez once again was the man! He poured in 29 points, including the game winning layup with six seconds left. Angel Delgado continued to do what he does, which is post double doubles, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Kevin Willard must be feeling better now, as his Pirates are ranked #19 in the country (7-1). Lead by Rodriguez’s spectacular play, all of the pieces are falling into place at the right time. The Pirates will look to continue their hot streak this Saturday against VCU in the Never Forget Tribute Classic (3pm at the Prudential Center).
Feature photo: Big East Coast Bias