The Seton Hall Pirates took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the annual Garden State Hardwood Classic. The Pirates won the annual game last year by a score of 81-54. This incarnation of the rivalry proved to be similar to the previous with the Pirates coming away with an 84-55 win in Piscataway.
The Pirates started out slow and that enabled Rutgers to take an early 20-11 lead. Sloppy play from the Pirates and sharp shooting from Rutgers players Mike Williams and Omari Grier helped the Scarlet Knights get on top early. The Pirates climbed back into the game with help from Michael Nzei and Angel Delgado who had a strong first half. By the end of the first half, Seton Hall had built a commanding 47-34 lead.
In the first half the Pirates were led by Khadeen Carrington who had 11 points. Michael Nzei posted 8 points and 7 rebounds, and Angel Delgado added 8 points and 6 rebounds. The Scarlet Knights were led by Mike Williams with 11 points, while D.J. Foreman added 6 rebounds.
The second half was all Seton Hall. The Pirates never let up and wound up walking out of the RAC with a 29 point win over their in state rival. Some highlights from the 2nd half included huge dunks from Michael Nzei and Desi Rodriguez. Also, freshman Dalton Soffer knocked down a pair of three pointers at the end of the game. The Pirates used their size and strength in the paint to pull away from the Scarlet Knights. It was a big win for the Hall as they bring the Garden State Hardwood Classic trophy back to South Orange.
Some notables for the Pirates were Khadeen Carrington who scored a game high 18 points. Isaiah Whitehead added 13 points as well. However, this game belonged to Michael Nzei and Angel Delgado. Michael Nzei had his best game as a Pirate with 13 points and 12 rebounds, his first career double double. Not to be outdone, Angel Delgado posted 14 points and 13 rebounds. Delgado was named the Joe Calabrese MVP of the game.
The Scarlet Knights were led by Mike Williams with 16 points and Corey Sanders with 14 points. D.J. Foreman led Rutgers with 9 rebounds. Jonathan Laurent chipped in 7 points and 3 boards. With the loss the Scarlet Knights fall to 3-5 on the season. The Pirates improve to 6-2 with the victory.
Up next for Rutgers will be a home tilt against Central Connecticut State on December 8th. The Pirates will be back in action at the Prudential Center on December 10th when they take on Troy. Check out the PPI below to see which Pirates players shined brightest in the blowout win. We will have full coverage of the game against Troy on December 10th. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.