NEWARK, N.J. — Seton Hall’s recipe during the first two months of the season has been to get the ball down low to its 6-foot-10 center Angel Delgado and let him take care of the rest. On Sunday, the No. 23 Pirates used their perimeter game to turn back St. John’s 75-70 at the Prudential Center.
Led by Khadeen Carrington’s 24 points, Seton Hall (13-2, 2-0 Big East) converted 13 of 29 (44.8 percent) shots from 3-point range to win its fourth straight game and ninth in its last 10. Carrington made 5 of his 10 shots from long distance.
Desi Rodriguez added 23 points and nine rebounds, and Delgado recorded the 61st double-double of his career with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He also played the role of facilitator, dishing out a team-high six assists, many off a double-team to open outside shooters.
St. John’s (10-4, 0-2) was without its leading scorer, Shamorie Ponds, who was out with an injured knee he suffered against Providence on Thursday. Ponds is averaging 20.1 points per game.
The Red Storm were led by Tariq Owens’ 19 points and career-high 14 rebounds. Marvin Clark added 18 points and Bashir Ahmed scored 16 points.
“He’s (Ponds) is day-to-day,” said St. John’s coach Chris Mullin. “I’m not a doctor, but I’ve been injured a lot. I know a lot about that, and we’re not gonna jeopardize his health.”
Carrington’s two free throws with 1:24 to play moved Seton Hall’s lead to 72-65.
After the Red Storm pulled to within 63-62, the Pirates reeled off five straight points for a 67-62 lead with 3:38 to go.
St. John’s put together a 15-2 blitz to get within 60-58 at the 7:07 mark with Clark igniting it with three 3-pointers.
“I thought we got in a good rhythm midway through the second half,” said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard. “Then Owens hit that three that went from 15 to 12. I give St. John’s a lot of credit. They really battled. Defensively, without their guards, they’re really long and tough to score on.
“We got beyond the arc early and you always worry, does that carry over? They did a good job of protecting the lane with Owens and (Kassoum) Yakwe.”
The Red Storm blocked seven shots, four by Owens. They are sixth in nation, averaging seven blocks a game.
A quick eight-point burst over 1:08 brought the Red Storm to within 45-43 early in the second half, but the Pirates responded with an 13-0 run to move their lead to 58-43.
Seton Hall relied on blistering perimeter shooting in the first half, making 10 of 18 (55.6 percent) from beyond the 3-point line for a 43-33 cushion at the break. Myles Powell was 3 of 3 and Carrington was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.
“They (Seton Hall) came out and made 10 threes in the first half, and a lot of teams would have got discouraged,” Mullin said. “We maintained our defensive intensity and worked our way back in the game, and made some free throws when we had to.
“Pregame, I just wanted (us) to compete. That’s all I wanted. I told them, ‘If we come out and compete, we’ll be fine.’ That’s what I’m most proud of.”
The Pirates took their biggest lead of the half, 36-29, thanks to five straight points from Rodriguez.
Carrington deposited two straight 3-pointers for a 31-26 Seton Hall lead with 6:05 left in the half.
Three straight 3-pointers, two from Powell and one from Rodriguez, tied it at 14-14 for the Pirates with 11:25 left in the half. They took the lead on a Rodriguez jumper, capping an 11-0 run.
St. John’s grabbed an early 14-5 lead, with Owens scoring nine of those points. Seton Hall went 4:08 without a basket, committing five turnovers, three by Delgado, who was double-teamed.
NOTES: St. John’s is ranked first in the Big East in scoring defense, field-goal percentage defense, blocked shots and steals. ... Seton Hall C Angel Delgado is second in the Big East rebounding and fourth in the nation in offensive rebounds ... This was the 98th meeting between the two schools.