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Seton Hall vs. Cal final score: Pirates narrowly defeat Golden Bears, 62-59

The Pirates avoid an upset Wednesday night, beating the Golden Bears by 3

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at California Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Seton Hall earned a narrow 72-69 win over the California Golden Bears on Wednesday night.

The Pirates were without Myles Cale (lower leg) in this game and could have really used his shooting. Both teams struggled heavily from the field. Seton Hall shot 7/26 (26.9%) in the first half but led both teams in three-pointers made with one.

This game started off back and forth with Andre Kelly scoring Cal’s first 7 points including a nice and-one. For the Pirates, their early scoring attack was led by Tyrese Samuel, who got his first start today and did not disappoint. The 6’10” junior out of Montreal had 6 out of the Pirates’ first 10 points to give them a 10-9 lead. Majority of Cal’s points were off layups including one from 6’9” junior Kuany Kuany to give them an 11-10 lead going into the first media timeout.

Out of the timeout, in his first time coming off of the bench this year, sophomore Kadary Richmond made 2 free throws to take the lead right back for the Pirates. Jared Rhoden would then make the only three of the half for both teams to extend Seton Hall’s lead to 4. Richmond then made another layup to finish a 7-0 run for the Pirates.

After a hot 5-7 shooting start, the Golden Bears went on to miss their next 5. This cold streak would be short-lived after Andre Kelly made his 4th basket. After some more back and forth, Kelly would extend his hot start to 5-5 from the field with 11 points making the score 21-15. This would keep the Golden Bears within striking distance going into the media timeout with around 7 minutes left in the half. Along with Kelly’s dominance in the first half, junior Joel Brown out of Brampton, Canada had a couple of great takes to cut Seton Hall’s lead to 2.

The Pirate’s backcourt duo of Bryce Aiken and Jared Rhoden had a rough shooting start, combining to make only 2 of their first 9 shots from the field. Rhoden would still find his way to the free throw line and finish the first half with 8 points. Tyrese Samuel would also have 8 first-half points for Seton Hall, as the Pirates entered the locker room up 27-25. The only real bright spot for the Golden Bears in the first half was senior Andre Kelly who had 15 points on 6-6 shooting along with 6 rebounds.

Forward Joel Brown opened up the second half with a strong take to tie the game up at 27. This would begin back and forth between Seton Hall and Cal that would continue for the entire half. 6’10” South Florida transfer Alexis Yetna scored the Pirates’ first 7 points of the second half, while Cal leading scorer Andre Kelly was the early scoring source for the Golden Bears.

With 12:30 left to play, a 12-3 Cal run was capped off by a layup from guard Jordan Shepherd to give the senior 4 straight points for the Golden Bears, and the team their first lead since early in the first half. This lead would be extended to 5 after Ike Obiagu picked up his 4th foul, giving Andre Kelly two free throws. The 7’2” Florida State transfer had a quiet game, due to foul trouble throughout.

The next punch came from Seton Hall, as they had their own 8-0 run including a Tyrese Samuel putback to give them a 46-44 lead. Samuel would finish the game as the Pirates’ 3rd highest scorer, with 10 points.

When the 12.5 point favorites looked like they were finally going to pull away with the game, Australian senior Grant Anticevich stepped up for the Golden Bears. The 6’8” forward scored Cal’s next 10 points and gave them a 54-51 lead with only 5 minutes left in regulation.

Then, senior leader Bryce Aiken started to heat up and erase the once quiet game he was having. With 2:29 left in the second half, Aiken would hit the biggest shot of the game. This shot came from behind the three point line and gave Seton Hall a 57-56 lead. Cal’s hot hand Grant Anticevich had one last look at three to take the lead and possibly win the game for the Golden Bears, but with 6.3 seconds remaining, it rimmed in and out. Seton Hall would hold on, winning a close one, 62-59.

Andre Kelly and Grant Anticevich did all they could in this one combining for 38 of Cal’s 59 points. Kelly also totaled 11 rebounds (1 offensive). The Pirates’ scoring attack was led by Jared Rhoden who finished the game with 21 points and added 7 rebounds to his stat line as well. Both teams will be back in action on Sunday, November 28th. The 4-1 Seton Hall Pirates travel back home to the Prudential Center, where they will host the 1-5 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, and the 2-4 Cal Golden Bears will also be travelling back home to host the undefeated Fresno State Bulldogs at Haas Pavilion.