PIRATE CADETS WIN CLOSE ONE AGAINST SPACEJAYS 87-81
In a highly entertaining affair at the Prudential Center, the Seton Hall Pirates managed to eke out a victory against the 20th ranked Creighton Bluejays to set a positive pace on their treacherous run in the next few games.
Khadeen Carrington was unstoppable, acquiring his career high in points on the night as he knifed through the Creighton defense - forcing their best defender in Khyri Thomas into foul trouble early - and ended up shooting 22 free throws as the Jays attempted to stop this ball of fury.
Unsurprisingly to those who have peered upon this great basketball league all year, Angel Delgado managed to scrape together a double-double, adding to his seemingly endless list of games in which he’s accomplished this feat. He also managed to get over the 1,000 point hump tonight, an exciting feat for any college basketball player.
The game itself, sans these two monumental accomplishments, was close from tip to finish, a flurry of offensive runs by the Jays which inevitably led to mind numbing cold spells brought on by the Pirate’s ability to lock down when it mattered most. Seton Hall’s defense would relax, then tense, then relax as they’d adjust to setting the pace to their liking.
An ebb and flow affair throughout the second half, the Jays would build momentum with Davion Mintz at point guard, then watch it fall away gently on the shores as he was supplanted by two guard and very slow guy Isaiah Zierden. It was a questionable move by smart guy coach Greg McDermott, perhaps he saw that Mintz had no opportunity to stop Carrington, but honestly no one did.
Desi Rodriguez was Carrington’s perfect compliment, pouring in 18 points of his own in a very quiet and subdued manner. While Khadeen was making his impact felt at the free throw line and at the rim, Rodriguez was tossing in buckets in rhythm.
For Creighton, Foster attempted to steady the ship as Thomas sat idly on the sideline in foul trouble, yet he alone was unable to push the momentum properly. It was a heroic attempt that amounted to 23 points, though his effort was unable to propel the Jays to a prosperous finish.
A lot of eyes were on Creighton’s seven foot phenom Justin Patton, who scored 15 on 7-10 shooting, as he ran the floor like a spooked deer and made some unbelievable finishes that required the deftness of touch that had grown men swooning in their living rooms. There are moments after he makes a spectacular play that you have to question reality as a whole, whether he’s utilizing the same laws of physics that us peons are accustomed to, that perhaps he’s living in two dimensions at once. His talent, his attitude, his ability to learn at such a frightening pace has left NBA scouts salivating and limp, knowing he’s that priceless unicorn that can transform their hoopsquad.
There was a particular moment in the waning seconds when Creighton was attempting to save some seconds on the clock, with Toby! Hegner rolling the ball to Marcus Foster on an inbound, yet Carrington, in his infinite wisdom, simply dove on the ball, gathered himself, and took it to the rack for an emphatic slam.
Kevin Willard always seems to find a player that can make Pirate fans smile whence March rolls onto shore. Could Carrington replicate the Iron Man performance of Whitehead’s past?
Whatever the final result of the season, seeing Khadeen Carrington at the free throw line will be forever burned into the viewer’s minds.