NEWARK – No Powell, no problem.
Playing without All-American shooting guard Myles Powell, who missed the game with a concussion, and without second-leading scorer Sandro Mamukelashvili, who has a broken right wrist, Seton Hall picked up their best win of the season, upsetting No. 7 Maryland, 52-48.
Quincy McKnight led the way for the Pirates, finishing with 17 points, eight boards and six assists, while Romaro Gill and Ike Obiagu combined to for 12 of Seton Hall’s 15 blocks. To put that number into perspective, Maryland make just 13 field goals on the night while turning the ball over 17 times.
And in the end, that’s what won the game for the Pirates.
They came ready for a fight. They came ready to prove that they are more than just Powell. They arrived at a packed Prudential Center knowing that they badly needed a marquee win for their NCAA tournament resume, and they played like it.
As the saying goes, don’t bring a roll of charmin to a rock fight.
The truth is that Seton Hall needs Myles Powell. No one in their right mind would ever say that playing without one of the five best players in college basketball, a guy capable of going for 25 points in any given half, makes you a better team, but even with — or maybe because of — their two best players being in the MASH unit, Seton Hall needed to win with their defense. Luckily enough, they have the guys that can do that.
And as long as we’re discussing silver linings, how about this one: Seton Hall had some important reserves thrown into the fire. Anthony Nelson finished with 10 points and four assists, hitting a critical bucket with a minute left on the clock to push Seton Hall’s lead back to seven points. Jared Rhoden had eight points, 12 boards and three assists, helping to keep Maryland’s talented wings in check. Gill and Obiagu eliminated any hope that Maryland had of scoring in the paint.
If the Pirates are going to live up to their lofty preseason, expectations they are going to need those guys to play up to this level.
On Wednesday night, they proved that they can, and Seton Hall upset Maryland as a result.