NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Shaheen Holloway insists there weren’t any added emotions going into the game vs. St. Peter’s. While it was a reunion with the team he turned into last March’s college basketball darling and put him on the head coaching map, it was just any other game to the 46-year-old.
Al-Amir Dawes had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, Dre Davis also scored 13 points and Seton Hall defeated St. Peter’s 80-44 on Saturday.
The Seton Hall coach led St. Peter’s on a remarkable run in the NCAA Tournament last March. It was a true Cinderella story, with the small school in Jersey City from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference knocking off the likes of Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the regional final.
“I had no emotion,” Holloway said. “I went about it just like playing another team and I’m here today. That’s not my thing. That was last year and we did what we did and now I’m here and I gotta do what I do here. ”
With Holloway returning home to lead Seton Hall (2-0), the St. Peter’s (1-1) roster doesn’t resemble that of its Elite Eight run. Holloway took KC Ndefo, the MAAC’s three-time defensive player of the year, with him to Seton Hall. Ndefo finished with six points and six rebounds on Saturday.
“This was a great experience for us – playing against our old team. We put a lot of years into that university and it was just a great experience,” Ndefo said. “We handled it well. Took care of business. They’re a very good team. We were looking forward to this game and we executed the game plan.”
Jamir Harris alley-ooped a pass to Samuel, who slammed it home with 16:44 left in the game. It put Seton Hall up 44-23, and slammed the door on hopes of any early season upset.
Seton Hall led by as many as 42 in the second half. Trey Jackson and Kadary Richmond added nine points each for the Pirates.
Guards Isiah Dasher (six points) and Jaylen Murray (13 points and three assists) and sophomore big man Oumar Diahame are the returning foundation for new St. Peter’s coach Bashir Mason.
St. Peter’s took a couple leads early, but Seton Hall doubled up the Peacocks 24-12 at 7:47 left in the first half. By halftime, the Pirates were up 36-23.
“I’m glad the game is over to be honest with you,” Holloway said. “I hope they do really well this year, and I’m just worried about us.”
St. Peter’s: The Peacocks aren’t just replacing their head coach. There’s a lot of players that left, too. Doug Edert transferred to Bryant; Daryl Banks went to St. Bonaventure; Matt Lee transferred to Missouri State; the Drame brothers, Hassan and Fousseyni, went to La Salle. Clarence Rupert is now at Southern Illinois.
Seton Hall: The Pirates style looks similar to that of how St. Peter’s played under Holloway. A deep rotation of 10 players, with hockey-like substitutions as defensive effort and intensity held to a premium.
“That’s coach’s method of coaching,” Ndefo said. “Playing hard, playing with a lot of guys. This is just the culture that he built over at St. Peter’s.”
St. Peter’s: Hosts Bucknell on Tuesday.
Seton Hall: Hosts Iowa on Wednesday.
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