Knocked into the consolation bracket on the first night of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas, No. 13 Seton Hall and Iowa State got wins on Thursday and play for fifth place in the annual showcase Friday night.
The Pirates (5-2) rolled to an 81-56 win over Southern Mississippi, led by Myles Powell’s 18 points. Powell, a senior guard, has 50 points in the first two games in The Bahamas and leads the Pirates in scoring with an average of 24.2 points per game.
Seton Hall lost a heartbreaker on Wednesday to No. 11 Oregon, losing a 19-point lead in a 71-69 loss to the Ducks. But the Pirates came back with an impressive performance against the Eagles, outscoring them 41-25 in the second half and putting the game away with a 17-0 run late in the game.
It just took Seton Hall the first 20 minutes to fully move on from Wednesday, coach Kevin Willard said.
“The best learning experiences are coming back off a tough loss,” Willard said. “In the second half we started getting that mentality of who we are.”
“We came out a little sluggish, but (Friday) we’re going to play Seton Hall basketball,” Powell said.
Dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Seton Hall is 87-12 when leading a contest by seven points or more.
The Cyclones are coming off a 104-89 win over Alabama in which the combined total of 193 points was the highest single-game total in the history of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Iowa State shot 52.2 percent overall (36-for-69) and knocked down 51.7 percent of its 3-points shots (15-for-29) to improve to 4-2.
Guards Tyrese Haliburton and Rasir Bolton combined to hit 9 of 14 threes, with Haliburton putting together a 23-point, 11-rebound, nine-assist effort. It was an assist shy of the sixth triple double in school history, according to the Des Moines Register.
“It shows that when we make shots, we can be dangerous,” Haliburton told the Register.
Bolton added 22 points and Prentiss Nixon 15 in the in over the Crimson Tide. A 14-0 run in the second half was the difference for the Cyclones, who’ve won three of four and have scored 100-plus points in two games this season.
Iowa State fell to Battle 4 Atlantis finalist Michigan 83-76 on Wednesday.
Haliburton, a sophomore, sat out for six minutes of the first half, but the Cyclones hardly missed a beat.
“It feels good to take a little break,” he said. “Those guys had it going, so I was loving every second of it for sure.”
In a bit of a scheduling oddity, the two teams will face each other again on Dec. 8 in Ames, Iowa. The Pirates hope to have point guard Quincy McKnight back to full strength on Friday, as leg cramps have kept him off the court for long stretches in both games.
–Field Level Media