Led by Khadeen Carrington, the Seton Hall Pirates wouldn’t be denied a win against Creighton.
At the end of Wednesday night’s game, Angel Delgado carried Khadeen Carrington to the locker room. This is what happens after a player throws down one of Seton Hall’s best individual performances of all-time. This is what happens after he pours in 41 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals with only one turnover.
— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) February 16, 2017
Seton Hall needed every point of Carrington’s career-high 41 points to stave off Creighton, who made many outside shots to make Seton Hall earned this 87-81 win at the Prudential Center.
It was a rewarding win for the Hall, a win that was not going to be denied. By far, this was the best win of the season for a team that needed this win after a terrible loss to St. John’s. With a three-game homestand that started Wednesday night and Villanova coming to Newark Saturday afternoon, they could not afford a two-game losing streak. They need to get some wins going if they are going to be a NCAA Tournament team.
This is the type of win that gives the Pirates momentum heading into Saturday. It has them feeling good about themselves that they can beat anyone anytime and anywhere when everyone pitches in. That’s the type of effort they need to beat a team like Creighton.
This also says Seton Hall is resilient when adversity strikes. They have responded after bad losses this season by winning the next game. When the other team plays well, Seton Hall doesn’t flinch. They find a way to stay afloat and then go on a run of their own down the stretch. They know how to make plays whether it’s defense or offense. It’s the type of attribute that should help their tournament chances when the NCAA committee looks at their resume.
It came down to will to win. Carrington was not going to be denied on a night like this when he scored 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half. He shot three 3-pointers in that half. He wasn’t missing. He was why Seton Hall entered the intermission with a 41-40 lead despite Creighton shooting lights out in the first half.
Carrington kept it going by making layups to keep Seton Hall in pace with Creighton. He also was in a position to make six free throws in the final 40 seconds of the game.
Carrington sealed the win when he forced a turnover and then capitalized it by dunking it to give Seton Hall an 85-79 lead.
— Seton Hall MBB (@SetonHallMBB) February 16, 2017
This was leadership in full display. Carrington wanted the ball and he was active on defense. He did everything he could to make Seton Hall not leave the arena as losers at their home court.
When someone leads, others follow. That was the case when Delgado, Rodriguez and Sanogo followed Carrington’s lead in the second half.
With Creighton and Seton Hall tied at 69, Rodriguez hit two free throws to give the Hall a 71-69 lead. Delgado was able to get offensive rebounds out of Rodriguez’s missed layup and three-point jumper after Creighton’s Marcus Foster’s shot tied the game at 71. Delgado made a layup to give the Hall a 74-73 lead after Justin Patton’s shot gave Creighton a 73-72 lead. Seton Hall’s big man came through again by getting the layup after a couple of misses to help the Hall regain a 76-74 lead.
Delgado’s rugged play helped Carrington be fresh down the stretch, not to mention shutting down Creighton’s big man Patton. Nothing came easy for the Seton Hall’s big man, but to his credit, he was resilient enough to make some shots. It was good enough for him to get 1,000 career points at Seton Hall.
Sonogo and Rodriguez also did the dirty work of getting loose balls in that second half when Creighton finally got cold shooting wise.
It was the little things that helped Seton Hall hang in there against Creighton. Playing defense and getting loose balls gave the Hall a chance to pull it off. Finding a way to get it done no matter what it takes.
Maybe Seton Hall learned something from this game: if everyone finds a way to contribute, Seton Hall can beat any team. That’s what it took to beat Creighton. That’s what it will take to beat the defending national champions. That’s what it will take to win down the stretch.
If Seton Hall makes the NCAA Tournament, we will look back at this yeoman effort by everyone against Creighton.