While the first night of basketball at the Pearl Harbor Invitational left fans of the four teams a bit disappointed, Seton Hall and Cal decided that it was time to turn it up a notch.
Halfway into the first half the Pirates were shooting 65% while Cal shot 59%. And thanks to a big 19-7 run midway through the second half the Pirates were finally able to create separation and eventually come away with a 60-57 win.
This game was a barnburner until the final whistle with Angel Delgado posting up and hitting a nice hook with 43 seconds left which would put the Hall ahead for good. Delgado led the Pirates with 16 points and 12 boards on the night, with Desi Rodriguez chipping in 15 points of his own.
After missing much of the early season with back spasms in his second game back Cal’s Jabari Bird got the Bears going in the second half as he eventually finished with 22 points on the night. Outside of Bird’s impressive showing, Cal’s offense was relatively stagnant which would wind up being their undoing.
A mixed bag for Delgado
Seton Hall’s junior forward played on opposite ends of the spectrum throughout the game. He got off to a good start early on but throughout the middle of the game he lost his way a bit. However, in the final moment, Delgado would step up when needed, hitting a late-game bucket and picked up a steal to boot. The road may have been topsy-turvy, but Angel Delgado got the job done anyway.
Both teams struggled with free throws
The Pirates shot merely 9-for-20 from the line on Wednesday, while Cal put up a mark of merely 8-for-18. Both of these teams will not win close games once conference play starts if this trend continues, so they will have to sharpen up their play from the free throw line as we progress forward.
Momentum for SHU
While these two games were not the prettiest showing of basketball, Seton Hall timed these two wins perfectly. In grabbing these two wins, especially against potential NCAA tourney team Cal, the Pirates can hold their heads held high as they leave the island. Seton Hall has the opportunity to carry this momentum into Madison Square Garden Monday night in a very important nonconference showdown with the 19th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. We’ll see if they can rekindle the magic they conjured up the last time they were in MSG.