November 6, 2019 / 2:08 AM / 10 days ago

No. 12 Seton Hall blasts Wagner in opener

Myles Powell scored 27 points and No. 12 Seton Hall opened the season with a 105-71 victory over visiting Wagner on Tuesday night in South Orange, N.J.

The Pirates beat Wagner in a season opener for the second straight season and played the first of two tune-up games before hosting top-ranked Michigan State on Nov. 14. Picked to win the Big East, the Pirates dominated the second half as coach Kevin Willard served the second game of a two-game suspension for an NCAA investigation as assistant Grant Billmeier coached the team.

Powell put on another show in front of a sellout crowd that included former NBA guard J.R. Smith. He shot 7 of 13 from the floor, hit four 3-pointers and nine free throws.

The Pirates shot 61.7 percent, finished at 37.5 percent from 3-point range and scored 31 points off turnovers. Seton Hall outscored Wagner 53-34 in the second half and placed five players in double figures.

Jared Rhoden added 12 points while big men Sandro Mamukelashvili and Ike Obiagu contributed 11 apiece and Quincy McKnight finished with 10 points for the Pirates.

Alex Morales scored 17 points for the Seahawks, who shot 41 percent and missed 18 of 23 3-point attempts. Will Martinez added 14 while Tyrone Nesby IV and Patrick Szpir contributed 12 apiece but Wagner committed 21 turnovers, allowed 52 points in the paint and 29 fast break points.

The Pirates took their first double-digit lead at 22-12 on a hoop by Powell with 12:57 left in the first half. Myles Cale’s 3-pointer with 8:24 left gave the Pirates a 32-22 lead and Powell’s step-back 3-pointer and foul shot made it 36-24 with 7:18 remaining.

Wagner was within 39-32 when referee Michael Stephens called a double technical on Powell and Martinez for getting tangled up going for a rebound. Seton Hall began asserting its will and ended the first half with a 13-5 run to take a 52-37 lead by halftime.

Wagner was within 70-58 on a jumper by Morales with 10 1/2 minutes remaining but Powell hit an impressive 3-pointer while drawing contact and completed the four-point play with 10:17 remaining for a 74-58 lead.

Powell’s highlight-reel play started a 20-4 run and the lead never dipped below 20 the rest of the way as Seton Hall took its first 30-point lead at 92-62 on a layup by Shavar Reynolds with about five minutes left.

—Field Level Media

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