The Seton Hall men’s basketball team defeated Rutgers 72-61 on Friday night in front of a sold out crowd at the Prudential Center.
The Pirates, who have now one the Garden State Hardwood Classic three-straight years, were led by Joe Calabrese, Most Valuable Player Angel Delgado and his 19 points and 16 rebounds.
Junior Khadeen Carrington tallied 20 points, doing so for the sixth time this season. Fellow junior Ismael Sanogo grabbed a career-high 16 boards while recording three steals, two assists and two blocks.
After trailing by nine at the half, the Pirates maturity shined bright, trading buckets before evening the score at 51. The ensuing possession, the Scarlet Knights took their final lead of the night going up 53-52. The Pirates then rattled off eight-straight points for a 59-53 lead they would not relinquish.
The win moves the Pirates to 10-2 on the season while Rutgers falls to 11-2.
Following the win, Pirates head coach Kevin Willard praised the play of Sanogo.
“We game plan our defense around Ish. He’s involved in everything we do defensively,” said Willard. “He’s going to make a lot of money in this game one day, because he can really change the game defensively.”
Even Delgado had some strong words for his teammate.
“I’m going to tell you this: He’s the best defensive player I’ve ever seen in my life. Oh my God, this kid, it’s unbelievable. I really got a lot of respect for him, he works so hard. I told him ‘I don’t want Rutgers to have any offensive rebounds tonight’ and he said ‘I’ve got you, don’t worry about it’. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him on the defensive end. He does the little things and when you do the little things, that’s what makes you a big player.”
The win closes out the Pirates non-conference schedule. The Pirates will travel to Nebraska to take on the Creighton Blue Jays next Wednesday in their Big East opener. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m.
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