It was a banner night for Seton Hall as they opened their 2016-17 season in impressive fashion.
Khadeen Carrington finished with 27 points, while also knocking down five of six from behind the three-point line, to lead the Pirates to a commanding 91-70 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday in front of 1,856 at historic Walsh Gymnasium.
Angel Delgado added an impressive 22 points and 14 rebounds for Seton Hall. The Knights, playing without injured Earl Potts Jr., were led by Darian Anderson’s 27 points.
Before the game, Seton Hall raised their banners for winning last year’s Big East tournament and reaching the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates made sure to keep the good vibrations going for their fans in attendance, which included last year’s star player and Brooklyn Nets rookie Isaiah Whitehead.
There was plenty of energy in the gym leading up to the opening tip and it perhaps overwhelmed Seton Hall a bit at the start. The Pirates led by as much as 13 in the first half, however allowed Fairleigh Dickinson to hang around with nine turnovers.
Malik Miller and Stephan Jiggets drained back-to-back three’s to help the Knights get within five points of Seton Hall at halftime.
“Yeah, first half jitters, a lot,” Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said after the game. “Some of our turnovers were just careless in the first half, and that’s the first four or five games, you expect that.
It was a different story in the second half as the trio of Delgado, Carrington, and Desi Rodriguez set the pace Seton Hall wanted to play at in order to put the outmanned Knights away.
Rodriguez finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Seton Hall has a dangerous triple-threat in their lineup with Carrington and Rodriguez on the perimeter and Delgado in the paint. The Pirates can get physical with you or stretch you out from deep, there’s more than enough offense leftover to offset losing Whitehead to the pros.
Delgado is a walking double-double and showed Fairleigh Dickinson how overwhelming he can be with his inside play.
“He’s definitely going to get the ball more, he’s got to do better when he has it,” Willard said of Delgado. “Five turnovers is a big issue for me. He’s a better passer and he’s got to make better decisions when he get’s doubled, because he’s going to start getting doubled.”
“Again, you look at Desi, he’s got 12 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, he stepped up his game. They all had to step up their game just a little bit, not tremendously, and I thought they all did a good job of doing what they do very well.”
Overall, it was a solid win for Seton Hall on their campus. They’ll continue non-conference play on Sunday back at The Rock in Newark, New Jersey against Central Connecticut State.
Delgado gave Seton Hall, and everyone in the gym a brief scare in the first half when he had to leave the game with an apparent leg injury. Delgado was heavily favoring his left leg before Willard eventually put a substitute in for him.
Delgado returned a few minutes later, however, and showed right away he was alright by scoring on a finishing layup.
“Angel’s okay,” said Willard after the game. “He sprained his ankle last week in practice, last Friday. Yesterday was his first day back and he re-rolled it, but he’s okay. He’ll sit out tomorrow and we’ll see where he’s at, whether he plays on Sunday.”
It should be noted Delgado, when asked after the game, fully expects to play on Sunday.
“I’m feeling good, don’t worry about it” the always confident Delgado said. “I’ll be ready Sunday.”