The Seton Hall Pirates opened Big East play with a bang on Friday, picking up a 77-68 win over the St. John’s Red Storm at the Prudential Center.
Seton Hall center Sandro Mamukelashvili had a career-high 32 points on 12-18 shooting, as the Red Storm had no answer for the big man throughout the game.
Both teams struggled to consistently make shots over the first 15 minutes of the game, not cracking the 20-point threshold until there were five minutes left in the half. Much like Mamukelashvili was able to keep the Pirates afloat, though, Julian Champaigne was able to do the same for the Red Storm, coming away with 12 of their 30 points in the first half.
Seton Hall went into the half with a 35-30 lead. The second half couldn’t have been more different for the Pirates, though. Mamukelashvili kept scoring, which wasn’t a surprise. What was a bit of a surprise, though, was guard Takal Molson. Molson scored all of his 14 points in the second half, going 9-12 from the free throw line and 2-6 from the field.
The Pirates wouldn’t relent the lead, despite St. John’s getting within three points with three minutes to go.
Julian Champagnie finished with 24 points for the Red Storm.
Seton Hall improves to 4-3 on the year and 1-0 in Big East play. They will travel to Milwaukee Thursday to face Marquette. St. John’s falls to 5-2 on the year and 0-1 in Big East play. They will head to Washington DC Sunday to face Georgetown.