- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Seton Hall took a big step toward getting back to the NCAA Tournament, and it was no surprise that it was the juniors who led the way.

Khadeen Carrington scored the final 10 points of his career-high 41 in the closing minute and Seton Hall outlasted No. 20 Creighton 87-81 on Wednesday night.

Desi Rodriguez had 18 points and big man Angel Delgado got going in second half and added 17 points and 17 rebounds as the Pirates (16-9, 6-7 Big East) bounced back from a loss to St. John’s by opening a crucial three-game home stand with a big win.

“I am definitely finding it,” said Carrington, who was 10 of 15 from the field and 18 of 22 from the free throw line. “I didn’t play too well against St. John’s from a shooting standpoint. I didn’t hit a lot of shots that I usually hit. The biggest thing for me tonight was the seven assists and one turnover.”

Pirates coach Kevin Willard said that was probably the best all-around game Carrington has played in his three seasons.

Marcus Foster had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists for Creighton (21-5, 8-5), which lost for only the second time on the road this season. Justin Patton added 15 points and Khyri Thomas and Cole Huff had 13 apiece for the Bluejays.

There were 16 ties and eight lead changes in the tight game with Seton Hall going ahead for good when Delgado scored on his third try in the lane after missing two shots inside and getting the rebound on both. He missed an ensuing free throw but that was good enough to give the Pirates a 76-74 lead with 2:38 to play.

The big junior center from the Dominican Republic stretched the lead to three points with 1:49 to play with a free throw and then Carrington took over.

The junior guard, whose previous high was 28 last season, hit a drive with 41.9 seconds to play to push the lead back to 79-76. Foster had made two free throws with 1:29 left to cut the deficit to 77-76.

Carrington followed that with two more free throws to stretch the lead to 81-76 before Toby Hegner hit Creighton’s 11th 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 81-79 with 20 seconds left.

Carrington added two free throws and stole the ball and dunked to put the game out of reach.

“We knew they were itching for a win and we knew coming in he (Carrington) was a talented scorer,” Foster said. “He was giving us trouble in every way. We tried everything. We tried making him go right and double-teaming him, but he had it going tonight.”

The last Seton Hall player to score 40 points was Sterling Gibbs (40) against Illinois State on Nov. 24, 2014.

Pirates junior forward Ismael Sanogo said Carrington was a super hero.

“I told him before the game he was ‘Clark Kent.’ Every time we needed a big bucket he was there giving it to us,” Sanogo said. “I expect that from Khadeen. I think he is the best scorer in the league if not one of the better scorers in the country. He does it in practice all the time.”

Carrington had only scored 51 points in his last three games and 85 in his last seven, an average of just over 12 points.

“Well he’s not in a slump anymore,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said.

Delgado had two points and five rebounds at the half before stepping up to record his 20th double-double.


Creighton: The Bluejays are 3-4 since starting point guard Maurice Watson Jr. was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Seton Hall: The Pirates are 10-1 at the Prudential Center with the next two at home against Villanova and Xavier. Willard thought his team had to win two of the three to get a shot at the tournament. They have the first.

“This is proving what I said,” Carrington said. “I believe we are a tournament team. Right now, we are on the bubble. Tonight was a great start to our end stretch. We want to keep it rolling from here.”


Seton Hall was 28 of 39 from the free throw line. Creighton was 10 of 13.

McDermott said his team is in the top 90 percent in the country in not fouling and they were called for 25.

“He got to the free throw line 22 times,” McDermott said of Carrington. “I’m not sure if we’ve given up 22 free throws to a team all year.”


Creighton: Hosts Georgetown on Sunday.

Seton Hall: Hosts No. 2 Villanova on Saturday.


More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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