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No. 22 Seton Hall defeats NJIT to start season 4-0

No. 22 Seton Hall defeats NJIT to start season 4-0

NEWARK, N.J. - Senior Desi Rodriguez (Bronx, N.Y.) scored a game-high 19 points to continue his hot streak to begin the season, and the Seton Hall men's basketball bench contributed 32 points, as the No. 22 Pirates knocked off NJIT, 82-53, Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center.

Rodriguez finished the day 7-of-13 shooting, and he also grabbed seven rebounds. The Seton Hall (4-0) second unit was led by freshmen Sandro Mamukelashvili (Tbilisi, Georgia) and Myles Cale (Appoquinimink), who each had 11 points. Mamukelashvili also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked four shots.

Sophomore Myles Powell (Trenton, N.J.) added 13 points.
 
Turning Point
After a sluggish first half, the Pirates were leading 39-35 early in the second half when senior Khadeen Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y.) nailed a layup to spark a 24-3 run nearly eight minutes. The Pirates forced five NJIT turnovers and held the Highlanders to 1-for-6 shooting in that span.

On the offensive side during the run, Cale contributed six of the 24 points with a smooth three-pointer and a slashing "and-one" layup down the baseline. Mamukelashvili punctuated the stretch with a jumper off a dish from Carrington to give the Pirates a 63-38 advantage.

Seton Hall led by as many as 30 points on two separate occasions.

Inside the Numbers
  • Seton Hall shot 50 percent for the game (30-for-60) and was solid at the free throw line, making 15 of 19 attempts (78.9 percent). The Pirates have now out-shot each of their first four opponents this season. NJIT finished at 37 percent shooting overall (20-for-54) and 29.6 percent (8-for-27) from behind the arc.
  • The Pirates again were strong on the boards, out-rebounding NJIT, 38-29, and used 11 offensive rebounds to generate 13 second chance points.
  • The Hall's defense was outstanding in the second half, limiting the Highlanders to 9-for-26 shooting (34.6 percent). Overall, the Pirates forced 18 NJIT turnovers and turned them into 18 points.
  • After finishing with 19 points, Rodriguez has now led the Pirates in scoring in three of the team's first four games this season. He was 7-of-13 from the field and also grabbed seven rebounds.
  • Powell scored 13 points and dished out two assists.
  • Carrington finished the day with nine points, six assists and five rebounds. On the season, he has 21 assists against just seven turnovers.
  • Mamukelashvili was a spark off the bench with career highs in points (11), rebounds (nine) and blocks (four). He was 5-for-8 from the field.
  • Cale added in 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and made both of his three-point attempts.
  • Sophomore Eron Gordon (Indianapoilis, Ind.) also played very well in 18 minutes of action, delivering seven points and three assists with zero turnovers.
News & Notes
  • Seton Hall is now 6-0 all-time against NJIT, and five of the six victories have been by 15 points or more.
  • Rodriguez is now 31st all-time in Seton Hall history in scoring with 1,183 points. He surpassed Richie Regan (1950-53, 1,167 points) and teammate Angel Delgado (1,180 points).
  • The Pirates are 48-3 in their last 51 games when holding at least a seven-point advantage at any juncture of the game.
  • This was Seton Hall's 20th straight non-conference win at Prudential Center and 24th straight non-conference home win overall. All-time at Prudential Center, the Pirates are 63-8 in non-conference games.
  • Seton Hall is now 146-48 all-time as an Associated Press ranked team.
  • This is the second time under head coach Kevin Willard that Seton Hall has begun the season 4-0. The previous time was the 2014-15 campaign when The Hall opened the year 7-0.
Up Next
The Pirates are headed to New York City. Brooklyn's Barclays Center awaits The Hall as the team takes on Rhode Island in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off Thursday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN. The dynamic duo of Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin will deliver the radio broadcast on AM970 The Answer, simulcast on the Pirate Sports Network and Sirius 138/XM 201.

Seton Hall is not home again until the Dec. 12 game against Saint Peter's, which will take place at Walsh Gymnasium. The next home game at Prudential Center takes place Wednesday, Dec. 20 against Wagner. Tickets to all Seton Hall games can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.

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