It was the Desi Rodriguez show for the Seton Hall Pirates as they beat the Troy Trojans, 78-69, and got their seventh win of the year.
Rodriguez had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists as Seton Hall avoided a massive upset against Troy, who got a big night from Jordan Varnado.
Seton Hall played poorly in the first half, and were actually losing to Troy at a point in this game and were only up by six at halftime. It could have been disastrous for the Pirates
Varnado had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Trojans, who fell to 4-5 on the year. The Trojans will be disappointed after they had a good first half to keep them within striking distance of Seton Hall. Troy shot a whopping 52.9% from three-point land (9-17) and that is what kept them in the game for the most part.
Along with Rodriguez, Isaiah Whitehead led Seton Hall in scoring with 20 points.
Here are three things we learned from this game.
1. This could have been ugly for Seton Hall
Like mentioned earlier, there was a point in the game where Seton Hall was losing. Troy is ranked 281 out of 351 in the KenPom rankings, and a loss would have been a big blemish on Seton Hall's resume. Kevin Willard has to be really thankful for Rodriguez as his big night is what pushed The Hall past Troy and held them off. Imagine how bad a loss would have been.
2. Three-Point show for Troy
To many people's surprise, Troy stayed in this game. And that was due to their shooting from three-point land. The two teams shot almost identical from the field, but Troy shot almost 20% better on three's tonight. It was Varnado who had a big night has he shot five of six from deep. Wesley Person hit three of five from beyond the arc for the Trojans as well.
3. Another big night for Isaiah Whitehead
While Rodriguez stole the headlines with his big stat line, it was actually Whitehead who led Seton Hall in scoring tonight. In all of Seton Hall's games so far, Whitehead has failed to score over double digits in just two games this year. He is crucial to the Pirates' offense and he had another big night tonight. Seton Hall will go as far as Whitehead will take them.