After dominating the Nevada Wolf Pack for a majority of the contest, the Seton Hall Pirates had to fight in the final minutes for an eight point win and a spot in the winner’s bracket of the 2014 Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
Sterling Gibbs led the way for the Hall as he finished the game with 15 points and three assists. He was able to get to the rim and hit some big free throws down the stretch to help secure the win. One of those came after Gibbs missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and got his own rebound. Gibbs was fouled again and made both shots from the free throw line.
The Pirates lead by as many as 19, but Nevada went on a 14-1 run to make it close down the stretch. Vital free throws from Jaren Sina helped to put this one out of reach.
Brandon Mobley struggled in the first half, but made four shots in the second half and finished with 12 points and four rebounds. At one point, Mobley took a terribly rushed shot during the Wolfpack run, but down the stretch made some plays defensively.
Part of the reason that Nevada were able to make it close was the fact that their star big man AJ West had some time on the floor after having foul trouble in the first half. West finished with 10 and the Wolfpack only committed one turnover in the second half, but it was not enough.
Isaiah Whitehead only had one point in the second and half and finished with eight points for the game. Once again, he showed signs that he has an abundance of talent, but he has not been able to put it all together yet through two games.
Khadeen Carrington, who led Seton Hall in points at the half, only had two second half points and finished with 11 to go along with three rebounds.
The difference in the game was the Pirates’ ability to pressure Nevada’s offense into making mistakes and taking tough shots. They held the Wolf Pack to 37 percent shooting from the field and 4-13 from behind the arc.
Seton Hall shot 40 percent from the field and 6-17 from three point land as they made enough plays to stave off Nevada.
Another key statistic was the rebounding differential as the Pirates outrebounded Nevada 39-29, which was important in the win and will need to be consistent going forward for the Pirates to be successful. Angel Delgado was solid again on the boards as he led Seton Hall with nine of them.
The Pirates will likely get a talking to from head coach Kevin Willard, but more importantly, they got the win, and now move on to face Gardner-Webb tomorrow in the second round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas.