On Saturday afternoon, the Seton Hall Pirates and the DePaul Blue Demons met for a 12 p.m. tip-off. The atmosphere inside of the arena appeared to be as dreary and gloomy as the snowy weather outside with only a few thousand in attendance.
From the onset it looked as if this would be a classic hard fought grind it out Big East game, but Seton Hall used a big second half to pull away and win by a very sizable margin of 87-56.
Billy Garrett Jr. has had the reputation of being a Seton Hall killer throughout his career at DePaul. Garret Jr. lived up to his reputation as a Pirate killer early by scoring most of DePaul’s points as DePaul used a 10-0 run to tie the game up at 16 after trailing early 16-6.
The rest of the first half featured some back and forth action but ultimately thanks to Desi Rodriguez’s awesome 23 point first half shooting a perfect 9-9 from the field, lead the Pirates into the locker room with a 41-31 lead.
Seton Hall has been known to turn things up a notch in the second half consistently throughout the season and that continued against DePaul. The Pirates pulled away from the Blue Demons for good by going on a 26-4 run over the first nine minutes of the second half leading 67-35.
Desi Rodriguez led Seton Hall in scoring with 25 points but once again Angel Delgado was a huge factor as to why Seton Hall was able to pull away in the second half, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebound registering his 11th double-double of the season. Myles Powell, whose offense has gone stagnant the past few games, also had a solid outing scoring 13 points.
Seton Hall improves to 12-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play with Marquette coming up next, and DePaul falls to 7-9 and 0-3 in conference play as they face Providence next.
What we learned
As Vijay Vemu touched upon in his preview for this game coming into this matchup, both teams lacked flow offensively, often falling into playing isolation offense as both teams rank in the bottom half of the nation in assists per game. This changed for Seton Hall this afternoon as they finished the game with 21 assists. I was also impressed with Angel Delgado’s ability to make clean crisp passes finding teammates for open looks as he was double teamed in the post.
Desi Rodriguez is on a tear
The junior forward had a perfect first half scoring 23 points and shot 100 percent from the field. Over his first three Big East games, Rodriguez is currently averaging 20.3 points per game. If he keeps this offensive production up, along with Delgado and Khadeen Carrington scoring in bunches, Seton Hall will be tough for any Big East team to beat.
This was the first time in recent memory I remember seeing every player on the Hall’s roster see time on the court in the same game. Even walk-ons Manny Anderson and Michael Dowdy Jr. got in on the fun. It was good to see Kevin Willard during the last 10 minutes of the second half give the bench players some action. Eron Gordon and Dalton Soffer both impressed notching six points apiece.
Still figuring out the Big East
DePaul only lost to Villanova by three points, but then they go and lose to Seton Hall by 31 points? Give credit to Seton Hall. The Pirates played a great game, but at the same time, DePaul completely fell apart in the second half after playing a competitive first half. These inconsistent results early in Big East play tell us consistency more than anything is what will lead to success in this league.