Updated: Dec 14, 2021
NEWARK, NJ- Senior F JARED RHODEN & Junior F TYRESE SAMUEL each had 15 points to lead six Pirates in double figures in a home win versus previously undefeated Wagner College. Sophomore PG KADARY RICHMOND had a break-out performance (10 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) on both ends of the court for the 24th-ranked Pirates. Grads F ALEXIS YETNA (11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks) and G JAMIR HARRIS (12 points, 2 assists) along with junior F TRAY JACKSON (10 points, 2 rebounds) joined the scoring brigade. The Pirates finished the game shooting 52% from the floor though only 29% from behind the 3-point arc and almost 59% from the charity stripe. They overcame another slow start with a 35-33 Pirate lead at halftime. Wagner was led by F RAEKWON ROGERS (15 points, 3 rebounds) , G JAHBRIL PRICE-NOEL (11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and G ELIJAH FORD (10 points, 5 rebounds). The Seahawks were hit hard recently by covid and were missing a few top players tonight.
When asked during the post-game presser about the Pirates slow starts lately, he basically stated that he’s been going too deep into his bench in the first half. This makes it a bit harder for his bigs to get warmed up when called into the game causing the offense to be less effective. Also, when asked about G/F MYLES CALE’s injury, Willard believes he’ll be back on the court next week. The Pirates return to newly renovated Walsh Gym Saturday at noon to face Division 2 foe Nyack College. Next week is a big one as they welcome 7th-ranked Texas to the Pru then the renewed Garden State Hardwood Classic versus in-state rival Rutgers.
THE BASKETBALL ZONE QUICK ANALYSIS- The Pirates are in the midst of a 5 game homestand which includes Saturday’s annual Walsh Gym game against Nyack College. With a noon tipoff, the team will get a decent little break in games until their clash with Texas next Thursday night. As Coach Willard mentioned, this should allow MYLES CALE to return to the team. His presence and leadership will be much needed for both Texas and Rutgers. After next week’s clashes, they play neutral site game (MSG) versus Iona College in the Gotham Classic (St. John’s-Pittsburgh in the opener) then low and behold, Big East season is here! So again, a game to celebrate the beautifully renovated Walsh Gym then some much needed “R&R” to rest and prepare for a Big East title. This team is certainly deep enough and experienced enough to do that!