A Preview of VCU Basketball’s Next Opponent: (19) Seton Hall

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This post is for the diehard VCU fans that want to be as educated as possible on the next opponent VCU is facing. Here are game summaries of the last 5 games that Seton Hall played.


Seton Hall rallies to upset No. 17 Louisville 79-77 12/3

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —  Desi Rodriguez scored most every time he had the ball against No. 17 Louisville, so it wasn’t shocking for the Seton Hall senior guard to convert a final opportunity with the game on the line.

Other than the degree of difficulty in firing a winning shot over Cardinals 7-footer Anas Mahmoud, that is.

“I just wanted to be aggressive,” Rodriguez said after his off-balance banker with 8 seconds remaining gave Seton Hall a hard-fought 79-77 victory “I knew I had to make a strong move, and I was just happy and excited that I finished strong.”

Rodriguez had a season-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting with two 3-pointers. His basket was the last of seven consecutive for the Pirates (7-1), who overcame a 59-52 deficit with 11:33 left to cap a thrilling finish featuring three ties and four lead changes in the final 5:21.

That set the stage for the final possession where Rodriguez delivered in the reunion of former Big East Conference rivals.

After Deng Adel‘s leaner tied it at 77 with 29 seconds left, the Pirates ran the clock down before Rodriguez got the ball and dribbled left. He fired a hard shot off the glass for the lead, though the Cardinals (4-2) had one final chance.

Quentin Snider‘s 3-point attempt for the winner missed with 4 seconds left, Rodriguez grabbed his eighth rebound and the Pirates happily celebrated their second straight win over a ranked opponent.

“Last week against Rhode Island (a 75-74 loss), I didn’t put it in his (Rodriguez’s) hands,” said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, a former Louisville assistant under Rick Pitino from 2001-07. “I made sure the rest of the year it would get in his hands at the end of the game.”

Seton Hall’s victory adds to an impressive start featuring victories over Power Five conference schools such as Indiana (Big Ten), Vanderbilt (Southeastern) and No. 22 Texas Tech (Big 12) on Thursday.

Khadeen Carrington had 18 points, Myles Powell had 13 including a key 3-pointer with 1:40 left and Angel Delgado had 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Pirates.

Adel had 20 points and Snider 15 for Louisville, which committed 16 turnovers and lost its second straight.

“We’ve just got to take better care of the basketball,” Cardinals interim coach David Padgett said. “Sixteen turnovers is too many for us. … We’ve got to turn this around.”


Seton Hall: The Pirates won by showing poise down the stretch. Timely plays on both ends helped and Rodriguez didn’t have to do it himself as teammates contributed. The Pirates finished nearly even with Louisville on the boards (36-35), shot 46 percent and most importantly, outscored the taller Cardinals 40-26 inside.

“That’s our DNA,” Willard added. “We’re going to scrap, we’re going to fight. … They’re not physically imposing, but they’re long. We weren’t going to change the fact that we’re going to attack the rim.”

Louisville: The Cardinals overcame a slow start and seemed to be in gear behind a 20-7 run for a 59-52 lead before faltering. Lazy passes led to turnovers and easy Seton Hall baskets, and they had no answer defensively for Rodriguez. Their bench outscored Seton Hall 26-3 but looked out of sync and rushed at critical moments.

“We were rusty with the ball,” Adel said. “We were moving too fast. I turned the ball over way too many times. Our advantage was pick and rolls, and guys were getting open in the lane. The second half we did good job, but our turnovers killed us.”


Willard coached Louisville counterpart Padgett for a couple of seasons and said he talked with the former Cardinals player after he was promoted to the interim job following Pitino’s October firing in the wake of the school’s acknowledgment that it was being investigated in a federal bribery probe of college basketball.

The Seton Hall coach believes Padgett is the right man for a difficult situation.

“I think David has done a phenomenal job and will continue to do a phenomenal job with this program,” Willard said. “For what the city has gone through, what the university has gone through and most importantly what the players have gone through, David’s the right guy.”


Seton Hall hosts Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday.

Louisville hosts Siena on Wednesday in preparation for its meeting against neighboring Indiana on Saturday.

Seton Hall’s second-half surge upsets No. 22 Texas Tech 11/30

NEW YORK — Kevin Willard’s words could be construed as both his belief and a warning to those teams who will come across Seton Hall’s path.

The Pirates are not a one-man team.

“(Angel Delgado) understands that he has so many weapons around him,” Willard said after Seton Hall’s 89-79 victory over No. 22 Texas Tech on Thursday night. “Eventually teams are going to have to stop double-teaming him. … I just think the guys around him are working with him to make it easier (for him).”

Look no further than what transpired on the Madison Square Garden court. Myles Powell scored seven of his 19 points in a span of 45 seconds late in the second half to salt away Seton Hall’s sixth win in seven games.

Powell was one of four Pirates (6-1) to finish in double figures. Desi Rodriguez finished with 24 points while Khadeen Carrington had 16 and Delgado, who led the nation in rebounding last season, added 12.

“We never stay down,” Carrington said. “We did a great job.”

Whereas Seton Hall left on a high, Texas Tech viewed their first loss as a mixed bag.

“There (were) some positives,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said.

Keenan Evans led the Red Raiders (6-1) with 21 points while Jarrett Culver added 17, Zach Smith 12, Zhaire Smith 11, and Niem Stevenson10.

“Wish we would have played better,” Beard said.

The Red Raiders entered the game fourth in the nation allowing 55 points per game.

“Without watching the film Seton Hall was more aggressive than Texas Tech,” he said.

Trailing by three at halftime, Seton Hall outscored Texas Tech 31-22 in the first 12:42 of the second half to take a 70-64 lead.

For a team possessing an interior presence in Delgado, Seton Hall was able to take a lead not by dumping the ball into the post but with its perimeter attack. The Pirates made four 3-pointers and knocked down seven jump shots in all during that stretch.

“We talk a lot about getting inside-out 3s. I have the best shooter in the country on my team. Anytime he shoots it looks like it’s going in,” Willard said. “Angel gets us a lot of easy looks. That’s one of the reasons we have open 3s. You have to put four guys in the lane against him.”

Following a missed free throw by Norense Odiase, Powell drilled a 3 to extend Seton Hall’s lead to nine, then drew a player control foul on Stevenson.

“I stayed level-headed,” Powell said.

One minute and thirty-two seconds later, Carrington’s running leaner in the lane gave put the Pirates ahead 75-65. Before Carrington’s basket, Seton Hall grabbed four offensive rebounds sandwiched around a missed free throw.

Texas Tech twice cut the deficit to six, first on Evans’ two free throws with 3:05 left, then on his layup 53 seconds later. That was as close as the Red Raiders would get, as Powell made a 3 and converted two layups in a 45-second span to put Seton Hall ahead 86-73.

“They shoot the ball like that with their talent and their coach, they’re going to play in the second weekend of the (NCAA) Tournament,” Beard said of Seton Hall. “They played great.”

The Pirates outrebounded Texas Tech 37-33. Seton Hall shot 50.8 percent from the field (30 for 59), including 55 percent from 3 (11 for 22).

“We’re still a work in progress,” Willard said.


SETON HALL: During his news conference immediately following the 75-74 loss to Rhode Island in the NIT Season Tip-off on Nov. 23 at Barclays Center, Willard was at a loss to remember the last time his team allowed a team to score 54 points and shoot 60.7 percent in an opening half. Seven days later, Seton Hall yielded 42 points and 56.3 percent shooting to Texas Tech in the first half.

TEXAS TECH: The Red Raiders entered the game ranked in the top five nationally in scoring defense (4th overall with an average of 55.3 points) and field goal percentage defense (2nd overall at 33.5 percent). They may drop because Seton Hall finished with 89 points on 50.8 percent shooting from the field.


SETON HALL: The Pirates improved to 1-1 all-time against Texas Tech. Seton Hall dropped an 87-69 decision to the Red Raiders on March 16, 2010, in a first-round NIT game held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

TEXAS TECH: The most points the Red Raiders had allowed in a half this season was 31 to Boston College on Nov. 18. That was until Thursday night when the Pirates scored 39.


SETON HALL: Travels to No. 17 Louisville on Sunday.

TEXAS TECH: Hosts Nevada on Tuesday.

No. 20 Seton Hall beats Vanderbilt 72-59 11/24

NEW YORK — Seton Hall spent Friday morning watching film and the Pirates did not like what they saw, especially defensively.

Once it was time to take the court, the 20th-ranked Pirates decided to do something about it, even if it took a half to get going.

Desi Rodriguez scored a season-high 27 points and Seton Hall clamped down defensively in the second half and beat Vanderbilt 72-59 in the consolation game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center.

After allowing Rhode Island to shoot 60.7 percent in the first half of Thursday’s 75-74 loss, the Pirates bounced back defensively by holding Vanderbilt to 20.7 percent (6 of 29) in the second half and 33.9 percent overall.

“I loved our attitude. I loved the fact that we had a really, really tough loss and we didn’t play well — we had guys play well, and we woke up this morning with a great attitude that we — no matter what, we were going to get a victory, and that was the mentality all day,” coach Kevin Willard said. “To me, that’s a huge step forward for us mentally, because I would have struggled in years past to get them rolling, and I didn’t have to do much today besides tell them what I really wanted them to do.”

Rodriguez also helped Seton Hall turn its effective defense into proficient offense.

Rodriguez came within three of his career high, set Jan. 11 in an overtime loss at Marquette, and matched his second-highest point total. He made 12 of 21 shots and keyed an offense, which shot 46.6 percent overall.

“We just knew we had to bounce back,” Rodriguez said. “We didn’t want to keep dwelling on the past. It definitely was a bad loss for us. We just had to bounce back and get the `W’ today. We just want to work on getting better every game.”

“It was a learning experience,” Seton Hall forward Ismael Sanogo said. “You don’t just harp on that. You learn from the mistakes you made the other game, and we went over the film with Coach. He pointed out the things we could have did better and we did those things today.”

Angel Delgado added 15 points and eight rebounds as Seton Hall (5-1) dominated offensively and defensively after halftime by outscoring Vanderbilt 41-27.

Jeff Roberson had 20 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double, surpassing his total from last season but it was not enough for Vanderbilt (2-4), which lost its fourth straight by missing all 12 of its 3-point attempts after halftime and 19 of 24 3-pointers overall.

“I think the biggest thing is that we didn’t make shots,” Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew said.

Vanderbilt did not place another player in double figures, and leading scorer Matthew Fisher-Davis was held to four points on 2-of-9 shooting.

Seton Hall sprinted to a 13-4 lead less than 5 minutes in on consecutive baskets by Rodriguez. Vanderbilt gradually made a charge and took a 27-25 lead on a put-back by Roberson with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining.

Vanderbilt didn’t score for the final 4:27 and settled for a 32-31 halftime lead.

Seton Hall took the lead for good a layup by Rodriguez less than a minute into the second half and held a 46-34 lead with 12:03 remaining. The Pirates built a 17-point lead a few minutes later and the outcome was never in doubt.

“We did a really good job in the first half,” Drew said. “In the second half, we didn’t come out with the same intensity and didn’t really recover as far as making shots.”


Seton Hall: Seton Hall survived a quiet night from Khadeen Carrington, who is its fourth-leading scorer mostly because of how Rodriguez and Delgado played. Carrington scored one point on 0-of-5 shooting, marking the third time he was limited to less than 10 points so far. Despite the quiet night one end from Carrington, Willard noted how the point guard also led the defense. Willard also made a modification to his starting frontcourt, inserting Sanogo in place of Michael Nzei. Sanogo finished with four points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes.

Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt entered its trip to Brooklyn averaging 75.2 points but better competition showcased some significant struggles. After nearly going the first 8 minutes without a basket Thursday against Virginia, the Commodores experienced a more significant drought Friday by going nearly 13 minutes without a basket spanning the final 4:27 of the first half and the first 8-plus minutes after halftime. During that stretch, Vanderbilt missed 13 straight shots.


Seton Hall: faces Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Vanderbilt: hosts Radford on Tuesday.

Terrell lifts Rhode Island past No. 20 Seton Hall, 75-74 11/23

NEW YORK — There was no masking the importance of what had transpired, of what the moment meant, of the opportunity grasped.

Dan Hurley and his Rhode Island Rams entered Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the Preseason NIT with a guaranteed date against No. 20 Seton Hall. Atlantic 10 versus Big East. Mid-major against major conference. National television. Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s big for us,” Hurley said after Rhode Island’s 75-74 upset of No. 20 Seton Hall on Thursday night in the second game of the Preseason NIT. “We only get `X’ amount of these chances. In our non-conference it’s hard to get people to play us, home-and-home series. So any time we can get high level teams on a neutral court like Cincinnati last year or Seton Hall this year we’ve got to take advantage of it.”

Jared Terrell‘s running layup with 5.2 seconds left was the game-winning basket. He finished with 32 points to help the Rams improve to 3-1. Stanford Robinson added 15 points.

“My teammates were definitely able to find me when I was open. I was able to knock down shots but I was also being aggressive,” Terrell said. “These guys know that I just want to win and they’re right behind me. So I’m just confident going into every game (because) I know I have a lot of support.”

Myles Powell led the Pirates (4-1) with 21 points. Angel Delgado had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Khadeen Carrington and Desi Rodriguezhad 12 points each.

Following Terrell’s layup, Seton Hall inbounded the ball to Carrington, who raced up court but lost his dribble and the Pirates were unable to recover the loose ball before the buzzer sounded.

“You have a player you trust in Khadeen, you let him go make a play,” Kevin Willard said. “Sometimes you have to let your senior guard try to go make a play towards the end of the game.”

Trailing by nine at halftime, Seton Hall outscored Rhode Island 27-17 in a 14:06 span to take the lead at 72-71. Carrington made two free throws with 5:54 left to give the Pirates their first lead since his jumper 5:09 into the game.

Defense was both the cause and effect for Seton Hall’s turnaround. Specifically, the Pirates played defense in the second half after surrendering 60.7 percent (17 of 28) shooting from the field — including 77.8 percent (7 of 9) from 3-point range — -in the first 20 minutes.

“For us it’s a little bit more of a defensive mentality,” Willard said. “We were really flat defensively in the first half. I can’t figure it out. We’ve never given up 60 percent (shooting from the field). …For us I didn’t like our defensive intensity whatsoever.”

The Rams regained the the lead, 73-72, on Andre Berry‘s layup with 4:05 left. The lead lasted for 2:02 until Ismael Sanogo‘s layup gave Seton Hall a one-point advantage.

“We wanted to get a quick throw-in a little bit closer to the key for Jared,” Hurley said of the game-deciding basket. “Usually at the end of the game if you kind of watch these game situations, it’s usually a guy getting downhill making a shot, making a play. We just wanted to make sure we had the ball in Jared’s hands. It was as good a performance I think as you have probably seen this year.”


Seton Hall: The Pirates entered the game having yielded just 254 points-or an average of 63.5 points per game-in winning their first four games. Against Rhode Island, Seton Hall allowed 54 points in the first half and the Rams broke the 64-point barrier with 11:03 left in the second half on Jared Terrell’s 3 in front of the Rhode Island bench.

Rhode Island: The Rams authored an otherworldly offensive performance — in the first half. Rhode Island scored 54 points on 60.7 percent shooting. But college basketball is a two-half game and, in the second, Rhode Island only made 8 of 31 shots from the field.


Seton Hall Fell to 7-2 against Rhode Island

Rhode Island: The second of two games at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center also marked the second time Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley coached against his alma mater. Hurley scored 1,070 points in five years at Seton Hall.


Seton Hall: Plays Vanderbilt in the consolation game Friday.

Rhode Island: Plays Virginia in the championship Friday.

Rodriguez scores 19, No. 22 Seton Hall beats pesky NJIT 11/18

NEWARK, N.J. — Kevin Willard has more than very three talented seniors on No. 22 Seton Hall. His young kids are starting to step up.

Senior Desi Rodriguez scored 19 points and Seton Hall used an 18-2 second-half run to shake off pesky NJIT and post an 82-53 victory on Saturday.

Sophomore Myles Powell added 13 points for the Pirates (4-0), Myles Cale had 11 and fellow freshman big man Sando Mamukelashvili added 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots on a day that Willard decided to give senior center Angel Delgado some rest after he tweaked a calf in the second half.

“The other guys gave us a lot of energy,” Rodriguez said of the bench. “Myles Cale played well, Eron Gordon (seven points, three assists) played well, Sandro played well. Our starters were sluggish today and they came and picked us up and ran up the score. That was good for us.”

Willard said he talked to Mamukelashvili on Friday because the native of the Republic of Georgia was a little frustrated after three games. He told the 6-foot-10 forward he was close, sometimes a step slow or just in the wrong position.

He got it right on Saturday along with Powell, who starts, and Cale, who had a 3-point basket and a three-point play in the big run in helping the Pirates win their 20th straight non-conference game at the Prudential Center.

Rodriguez was the stabilizing senior. He was 7 of 13 from the field, hit all three free throws and added seven rebounds.

“Desi is an elite player,” Willard said. “He has put the work in, he has the confidence. He is scoring in so many different ways. He is playing at a very high level.”

Senior Khadeen Carrington added nine points as the Pirates beat NJIT for the sixth time in as many games. The big surprise was Delgado being held to five points and two rebounds in 16 minutes, playing only 2 minutes in the second half.

“He has logged a lot of minutes already,” Willard said of Delgado, who led the nation in rebounding last season. “He’s a workhorse, so I kind of gave him the night off, which he deserves.”

Abdul Lewis had 10 points and five rebounds to lead the Highlanders (1-2), who drew within 39-35 after scoring the first five points of the second half. Chris Jenkins added nine points for NJIT, which is winless in 15 games at the Prudential Center, which is about a mile from its campus.

“I thought we came out with good purpose in the second half and got a couple of quick buckets and then their size and physicality kind of wore us down,” NJIT coach Brian Kennedy said.

NJIT, now 1-22 against Big East schools, made Seton Hall work for this one despite never leading in the game. They were tied at 10 early, and got within 33-30 late in the first half before Seton Hall scored the final six points, two on fast breaks by Powell.

“That is a very tough and scrappy team,” Rodriguez said. “They are down the street from us and I know they were going to come in and go at us. We just had to keep our composure and do well down the stretch.”


NJIT: The Highlanders get a break with home games against Kean, Drexel and LIU Brooklyn over the next 10 days before going to West Virginia on Nov. 30 to face the 24th-ranked Mountaineers.

Seton Hall: The competition will pick up in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn with a game against Rhode Island on Thanksgiving and then either a title game or consolation against either Virginia or Vanderbilt. All four teams in the tournament played in the NCAA Tournament last season.

DEFENSE: Seton Hall held NJIT to 20 field goals and 37 percent shooting. The Highlanders also turned the ball over 18 times. The Pirates dominated inside, holding a 38-29 margin on the boards, a 38-20 advantage on points in the paint, and a 13-4 edge on second-chance points.

CHANGING OFFICIALS: Matt Potter started the game as one of the three officials because Nathan Hall was late getting to the game because of a delayed plane. Hall replaced Potter at the start of the second half and finished the game.


NJIT: hosts Division III Kean on Wednesday

SETON HALL: faces Rhode Island in NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center in New York City on Thanksgiving. The Pirates are delaying their turkey dinner until the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Willard said.


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