Seton Hall overcame some rough stretches of offense and closed out strong as the Pirates upset previously unbeaten No. 16 South Carolina for a 67-64 win at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
Despite only shooting 34 percent from the field, Seton Hall gutted out a win over one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Attacking the offensive glass hard for 18 rebounds, Seton Hall was able to stay in the game thanks to second-chance opportunities and a defense that kept working despite the sluggish offense. Khadeen Carrington paced the Seton Hall offense with 21 points while Desi Rodriguez added 16 points and Angel Delgado contributed a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Rodriguez made the go-ahead bucket with 11 seconds left as South Carolina sophomore P.J. Dozier missed what would have been a potential game-winning three-pointer at the other end.
South Carolina (8-1) once again excelled on the defensive end, as their ball pressure did a number on Seton Hall early. But the Gamecock big men were in foul trouble on Monday and it ended up hurting them immensely on the glass. Chris Silva (11 points) fouled out while Maik Kotsar had some foul issues of his own. And South Carolina couldn’t get much consistent offensive help for Dozier, as he finished with 20 points. The suspension of Sindarius Thornwell clearly made a difference on the South Carolina offense, but they also played pretty well without their leading scorer and had plenty of opportunities to win this game.
This win is very important for Seton Hall’s postseason aspirations since it’s a neutral-court win over a quality opponent. Up until this point, Kevin Willard’s ballclub had wins over Cal and Iowa but both of those teams aren’t nearly as strong as South Carolina. The Big East is going to have plenty of opportunities for more big wins with Villanova, Creighton and Xavier all off to good starts and if Seton Hall can earn some more quality wins, they should find themselves back in the NCAA tournament.