Despite two power outages, Seton Hall closes out Iowa State 84-76 in the fifth-place game at the Battle 4 AtlantisDate: November 30, 2019
By: Heaven Hill
After crushing Southern Miss on Thanksgiving, the Pirates were able to pull away from the Iowa State Cyclones 84-76, putting up a blistering 52 points after halftime to snag a fifth-place finish at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
In their last outing, it appeared that Seton Hall finally started to find their footing in the tournament as they went on a huge run to close out the Golden Eagles down the stretch. Although superstar Myles Powell was the leading scorer, the frontcourt stepped up for the Pirates as well. Sandro Mamukelashvili and dynamic freshman Tyrese Samuel combined for 24 points, which was a great sign for the Hall, as head coach Kevin Willard had been looking for secondary scorers and solid production from the rest of the rotation. This matchup against Iowa State offered a chance for the Pirates to make a statement win, and they needed every basket.
Both teams came out in the first half trading baskets, going blow for blow. Big man Romaro Gill made his presence felt in the first 10 minutes of the matchup, with three points and four rebounds. He finished the half with seven points and five boards, giving the Pirates a surprising contribution from someone usually known for their defensive ability.
Mamukelashvili played phenomenally in the first half as well, continuing his promising play from the previous night with seven points and three rebounds of his own. Myles Cale arguably outperformed his production from the Southern Miss game already in the first half of this one, flashing his playmaking ability with three assists in the first half as well. While Powell was cold in the first half, with just five points on 2/9 from the field, everyone knew he was bound to heat up.
For the Cyclones, their star sophomore Tyrese Haliburton showed how impactful of a two-way player he can be on both ends, stuffing the stat sheet with seven points, four assists and three stocks in the first half. Rasir Bolton and Prentiss Nixon combined for 14 points, and George Conditt pitched in with four points and five rebounds off the pine.
Iowa State entered the break with a 33-32 lead at the half, which was definitely identified as a positive by coach Willard since the Cyclones put up 51 points in the first half against Alabama. With facing just a one-point deficit with your best player struggling from the field, the first half wasn’t all too bad for the Pirates.
Once the second half started, it seemed as if Powell went in the locker room and flipped a switch, because he came out absolutely scorching. From the 16-minute mark to the eight-minute mark of the second period, Powell had 13 out of the Hall’s 20 points. The preseason All-American flashed his microwave scoring ability, filling up the box score from each level.
Whether it was a deep three or a tough and-one finish, he showed for the scouts who made the trip to Nassau that he’s the real deal. Finishing this battle with 19 of Seton Hall’s 52 points in the second half, and setting the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament scoring record in turn, he showed why the Pirates rely on his many talents.
And for the first time this tournament, Powell’s teammates actually helped him shoulder the load, with someone else joining him in double figures in a half of play in ironically, the last half played by the Pirates. Mamukelashvili capped off his solid tournament run with 11 points and two blocks, giving him 18 points on the night; This was the Mamukelashvili Seton Hall saw last season, and the Pirates will need improved play from him if they want to reach their ceiling this year.
The Cyclones didn’t go quietly in the second half, however, with multiple big buckets from Bolton to give them leads at the 13-minute mark, and a huge three pointer from Nixon to cut Seton Hall’s lead to one with seven minutes left. Unfortunately for Iowa State, the Pirates responded to that one with a pivotal 12-2 run to close this one out and help coach Willard and his team pick up a huge win.
The Pirates leave the Bahamas winning their last two games, but their next matchup will feature a familiar opponent: these very same Iowa State Cyclones, but this time on their turf in Ames, Iowa on Dec. 8. It’ll be interesting to see how each team responds to the other’s adjustments, after having 40 minutes to scout the opponent’s tendencies in a live game situation. Let’s see if the Pirates can keep the ball rolling in their next outing against Iowa State.
Heaven Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.