In what was one of Seton Hall’s biggest games of the season, the Pirates played like a desperate team. Their desperation paid off as Seton Hall defeated No. 20 Creighton 87-81 in front of a raucous Prudential Center crowd.
Junior Khadeen Carrington scored a career-high 41 points, including 10 points in the final 41 seconds to lead Seton Hall to the victory. The Pirates rebounded from a loss to lowly St. John’s on Saturday and put on an emotional performance led by the junior guard. Angel Delgado had another double-double scoring 17 points and grabbing 17 rebounds while another junior Desi Rodriguez added 18 points for The Hall (16-9, 6-7 Big East).
The win was needed for Seton Hall as ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them on his last four teams in on his latest Bracketology configuration. A losing record in conference however could dash Seton Hall’s NCAA Tournament hopes. While a repeat return to March Madness is possible, Carrington believes that Seton Hall are a team that is worthy of the bright lights in March.
“I believe we are a tournament team,” said Carrington after the game. “Right now, we are on the bubble. Tonight was a great start to end our stretch. We want to keep it rolling from here.”
With just a one point advantage at halftime, the Pirates and Creighton began a back and forth battle for the lead in the second half. In a game that featured 16 ties and eight lead changes throughout, it was apparently as the game went into crunch time that someone would have to step up and take the game over. Over the last two years for Seton Hall, it was Isaiah Whitehead in that role to mixed results. The Pirates now lean on Carrington and he does not disappoint his teammates.
“I told (Carrington) before that he was Clark Kent. Every time we needed a big bucket he was there giving it to us,” said Seton Hall forward Ismael Sanogo. “I expect that from Khadeen. I think he is the best scorer in the league if not one of the better scorers in the county.”
This was Seton Hall’s first 40-point from a player since 2014 when Sterling Gibbs dropped 40 points on Illinois State. This was a breakout game in other facets for Carrington who also finished with seven assists, five rebounds and four steals.
“More than anything, I love how efficient he was,” said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. “He rebounded, he defended. That was the best game I’ve seen him play from an all-around standpoint. I just think his efficiency was off the charts.”
Creighton (21-5, 8-5 Big East) was led by Marcus Foster who scored 23 points in only Creighton’s second road loss of the season.
Next up for the Pirates is a home date against the number two ranked Villanova Wildcats on Saturday.