23 points from Sandro Mamukelashvili helped to drive the Seton Hall Pirates to a 90-76 win over the Sacred Heart Pioneers.
The Pirates never trailed once in the 40 minutes they played against the Pioneers on Wednesday night. They spent merely 21 seconds tied up, and that was merely the first 21 seconds of the game. ‘Domination’ is one easy way to define this game, as the Pirates were never really threatened over the course of this game.
Mamukelashvili continues to excel as a huge bright spot for this Pirates team. Wednesday night’s contest marked the fourth time in the last five games that Mamu has put up double figure marks in the scoring department. It’s also the fifth time this season in general that he’s hit the double digit mark. In addition to those factoids, the 23 points are a career-high for the sophomore forward, who is adjusting well to his increase in minutes.
His previous career-high mark was back on February 14, when he put up 17 against the Xavier Musketeers. So he breezed through that mark and put up the first 20-point effort of his career. Not bad, not bad. Mamukelashvili shot 8-for-11 from the field including four made 3-pointers (also a career-high) with eight rebounds, two assists, one block and no turnovers in 24 minutes of action.
Sandro was the star of the show on Wednesday but he had his supporting cast, as well. Myles Powell put up 15 points with a mark of 7-for-14 from the floor. Powell continues to be great, having hit double figures in every game this season. The 15 points he scored takes his average down just a tick to 22.7 points per game, which is still good enough to be second in the Big East in scoring now behind Markus Howard of the Marquette Golden Eagles and in front of Shamorie Ponds of the St. John’s Red Storm.
Powell also added four rebounds, three assists, four steals and one block but did commit three turnovers in 25 minutes of action.
Michael Nzei and Shavar Reynolds joined Mamukelashvili and Powell in double figures as they each scored 10 points apiece. Quincy McKnight, the former Sacred Heart guard, had nine points, finishing just a point shy of double digits. Anthony Nelson came off the bench to put up a gaudy eight assists, which edged Cameron Parker and his six for Sacred Heart. Nelson had five points, while Taurean Thompson had six like Myles Cale, and Darnell Brodie got on the board with one.
Now 8-3, the Pirates have one remaining test left in their nonconference portion of the season. That will come Saturday when they take on the Maryland Terrapins in College Park. The Terps, 9-2, represent a firm test for this Seton Hall club. They have only played one true road game all season, in which they took an 80-57 thumping to the Nebraska Cornhuskers back on November 14. They’re certainly playing like a much better team these days, so we’ll see if they can conclude the nonconference with a win against a quality opponent.
For now, they can certainly celebrate a very impressive W.