No. 19 Seton Hall routs VCU as Pirates continue to dominate tough non-conference schedule | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / September 18.
  • No. 19 Seton Hall routs VCU as Pirates continue to dominate tough non-conference schedule

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    NEWARK — Kevin Willard purposely set up a tough non-conference schedule to beef up his team’s résumé and prepare for a potential NCAA Tournament run.

    Through its first nine games, Seton Hall has now rattled off wins against some top non-conference foes, with Saturday’s 90-67 victory over VCU in the Never Forget Tribute Classic the latest example.

    Reigning Big East Player of the Week Desi Rodriguez went for 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, Myles Powell had 16 points (including 4-of-7 from deep), 5 assists and 3 rebounds and Angel Delgado notched yet another double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Michael Nzei added 14 points and 3 rebounds.

    “They’ve really earned this ranking,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard said of his team re-entering the Top 25 last Monday “We’ve earned the right to get ranked and when you earn something you want to take care of it.

    “They’ve sacrificed a lot to get here and they don’t want to give it away. It hasn’t been easy getting here.”

    VCU (5-5) was led by Justin Tillman’s 20 points and 8 rebounds.

    Seton Hall (8-1) has now won four straight, including wins over No. 22 Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden and at No. 17 Louisville. Their lone loss of the season came to Rhode Island by one point in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

    “Losing to Rhode Island, No. 2 in the country we knew how that felt and we didn’t want to have that feeling again,” Rodriguez said of the importance of winning after re-entering the Top 25 last week.

    “For us, coming out starting off strong and starting the second half strong again, I think that was great for us and it set the tone.”

    Said Delgado: “We don’t care about rankings. We’re just trying to win games and make our legacy better.”

    The Pirates host St. Peter’s on Tuesday and then visit Rutgers Dec. 16.

    “The schedule’s been tough, it really has,” Willard said. “The teams we’re playing are a lot like us, they’re all tough, hard-nosed. Even the next two next week, I’m dreading these two, St. Peter’s and Rutgers.”

    Willard said injured point guard Jordan Walker (hand) is due back Saturday.

    “That’s my goal,” he said.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.