NEWARK, N.J. — It’s not called senior leadership for nothing. And Seton Hall has good seniors, especially its three returning 1,000-point scorers in Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado and Khadeen Carrington.
“We knew we were playing a good Big Ten team,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said after his 22nd-ranked Pirates dominated Indiana 84-68 on Wednesday night as part of the Gavitt Tip-Off Games at the Prudential Center.
“We just had to make sure the big guy touched the ball,” Willard said of Delgado. “Sometimes, we need a friendly reminder that he’s down there. He’s a security blanket for the rest of the team.”
The victory was the third straight for the Pirates (3-0) to start the season.
Delgado had 19 points and 11 rebounds. He scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the second half.
“The great thing about Angel is that he has a great motor,” Willard said. “He tends to wear you down.”
“I think this is one of our biggest wins, because you always see Indiana doing good on TV,” Delgado said. “You always want to do better than them. This is a great win for us.”
Rodriguez scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first half.
“I think Desi is an elite player,” Willard said. “I think he’s one of the best players in college basketball.”
Carrrington added 17 points, which means the Pirates received 59 points from the three seniors.
Myles Powell added 11 points for the winners.
Devonte Green paced Indiana (1-2) with 16 points and Robert Johnson added 12.
Seton Hall held the lead for most of the first half, but the Hoosiers went on a 12-5 run over 5:02 to take a 30-29 lead on two free throws from Juwan Morgan with 2:15 remaining. But the Pirates regained the lead on two free throws by Rodriguez with 10 seconds left to take a 33-32 halftime lead.
After De’Ron Davis scored on a power move to start the second half, the Pirates went on a 10-0 run, with Delgado providing seven points on two baskets and three free throws. Carrington capped the run with a big 3-pointer from the far right corner, giving Seton Hall a 43-34 lead with 16:46 remaining, forcing Indiana coach Archie Miller to call a timeout before the media break.
Powell scored eight points in a span of 2:12 to push the Pirates’ lead to 53-39 with 13:51 left.
“I think our seniors responded the way they have the last couple of years,” Willard said.
The Pirates are the only Division I team to have three players who have scored 1,000 or more points during their career and all three (Rodriguez, Delgado and Carrington) reached double figures Wednesday night, the first time in three games this season that all three scored 10 or more.
Indiana sophomore Green nailed his first four attempts from beyond the 3-point arc. Green was the only Division I player in the nation to hit two shots from beyond halfcourt last season.
Former Seton Hall player Isaiah Whitehead was seated courtside. Whitehead, a unanimous first team All-Big East honoree two years ago as a sophomore, now plays for the Brooklyn Nets.
Johnson became the 51st player in Indiana history to score 1,000 career points with a first-half driving basket.
It was the 53rd time in Delgado’s Seton Hall career that he collected double figures in points and rebounds, the top figure in the nation. Delgado led the nation in rebounding last season, grabbing 13.1 per game. Delgado is the only active Division I player with more than 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
Seton Hall tipped off the new season with a national ranking for the first time since 2000-01, when the Pirates started the year at No. 10. The last time the Pirates were ranked was March 14, 2016. They moved from No. 23 to No. 22 in the AP poll this week.
THE BIG PICTURE
Seton Hall: It marked the first victory for the Pirates over the Hoosiers since March 23, 1989, when the Pirates shocked the Hoosiers, 78-65, in the NCAA Regional semifinal en route to the Final Four and the national championship game loss to Michigan.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have struggled under first-year coach Miller, losing at home to Indiana State by 21 points and defeating Howard by only nine last Saturday.
The Pirates host NJIT on Saturday before heading to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to face Rhode Island on Thanksgiving night.
The Hoosiers head back home to face South Florida on Sunday and Arkansas State next Wednesday.
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