The Seton Hall Pirates took on the Wichita State Shockers in a huge non-conference game at the Prudential Center today. This was the biggest non-conference home game of the Kevin Willard era. The Hall was looking to avenge a loss to Wichita State last season. The Hall came into Wichita and lost 77-68. Seton Hall battled back and won a tough game in overtime today 80-76.
Before today’s game we connected with Evan Pflugradt of Wichita State’s student newspaper, The Sunflower. He gave us some great insight, which you can read about in our previous article. He told us to watch out for Markis McDuffie, who Evan said was due for a breakout game. We told Evan that Seton Hall would try and establish Angel Delgado early and often. Both of our predictions came true in a sense.
The first half was dominated by Wichita State. Surprisingly, the biggest player early on was Shaq Morris. Morris scored 6 of Wichita State’s first 8 points. Those 6 points would be the only points Morris would score all game. The Pirates never led in the first half of this game. The Shockers led by as much as 13 points after a Ron Baker layup gave them a 33-20 lead with 6:34 to go in the first half.
The Pirates did not lead in the first half but did cut the lead to single digits by the end of the half. At the end of the first half the Pirates trailed Wichita State 40-32. The Pirates were led in the first half by Isaiah Whitehead with 12 points. Khadeen Carrington added 10 points and Angel Delgado chipped in 6 rebounds. The Shockers were led by Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet who each posted 11 points.
Markis McDuffie had a very solid first half for the Shockers. He had 3 points, a pair of rebounds, and also a beautiful assist. It was a homecoming for McDuffie who is a Jersey City native. When we spoke to Evan Pflugradt at halftime, he spoke about the turnovers that were a problem for Wichita State. The Shockers committed some sloppy turnovers, a trend that would continue in the second half. The turnovers were overshadowed by the great shooting of Wichita State. The Shockers shot 51.7% from the floor and 55.6% from beyond the arc.
The second half was a very chippy affair. There were many fouls and turnovers on both sides. The Pirates chipped away at the Wichita State until they finally took the lead with 7:51 left in the game on a Derrick Gordon layup. Conner Frankamp scored the next 8 points and Wichita State took a 7 point lead. The Pirates would again battle back and held a 67-65 lead with 34 seconds left. Fred VanVleet would tie the game with a pair of free throws and send the game to overtime.
In overtime the Pirates quickly fell behind after a VanVleet three pointer. However, the Pirates would take the lead with 3:10 remaining in overtime and would never surrender the lead. Ultimately, the Pirates would come out with an 80-76 victory over Wichita State.
The Pirates were led by Desi Rodriguez with 18 points. Isaiah Whitehead added 17 points and 5 rebounds. Angel Delgado posted another double double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Wichita State was led by Fred VanVleet with 19 points. Ron Baker added 16 points and 7 assists. Conner Frankamp chipped in 13 points. Wichita State was killed by turnovers. They committed 21 turnovers on the day.
The Pirates got a huge win and improved to 9-2 on the season as well as 6-0 at home. The Shockers fall to 5-5 with the loss and drop to 1-2 on the road this season. Wichita State will head home to take on Nevada on Tuesday night. The Pirates will take on South Florida on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.
Check out the PPI to see which Pirates stood out against Wichita State. A big thank you again to Evan Pflugradt, a great journalist who has a wealth of college basketball knowledge. You can follow him on twitter @EvPflu.
We will have full coverage of the South Florida game on Tuesday. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.