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Game preview: Seton Hall battles Florida A&M in a Saturday matinee

Date: November 23, 2019

By: Justin Morris

The Seton Hall men’s basketball team will take on visiting Florida A&M at 12 p.m. on Saturday in just their second home game at the Prudential Center.

The Pirates came in at No. 13 in the latest AP poll, dropping just one ranking after a n opening week that saw them fall to No. 3 Michigan State in a thriller at home, before bashing St. Louis 83-66, Sunday. They would get nearly a week off after the game Sunday, which was substantial time enough for star guard Myles Powell to allow his ankle to heal further, and to be named the nation’s Oscar Robertson player of the week for week one.

This came after Powell scored 37 vs. Michigan State, nearly vaulting them to victory had it not been for a 0-point scoring drought from the Hall in the game’s closing minutes. Spartan coach Tom Izzo lauded his performance postgame, saying he wasn’t sure if even God could guard him that night. Powell followed that eruption with 26 against St. Louis, giving his team six rebounds and three assists to boot.

The Rattlers haven’t won a game, and they’ll come into South Orange with an 0-4 record, having been outscored by their respective opponents 303-236. Their worst loss was their first, which came from Pac-12 opponent USC 77-48. The next three were in Hawaii for the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic, where they were given a thrashing by host University of Hawaii 65-52, subsequently falling in the game’s next two rounds as well, 76-54 to Pacific and 85-82 against South Dakota.

Senior guard Rod Melton Jr. has their game high on the short season. He paced A&M with 27 points in their most recent loss against South Dakota, but he’s the only player averaging double figures for the Rattlers. Melton’s averaged 11 per game through four, and is their first option on the scoring end. They’ll look to MJ Randolph (9.8) and Bryce Moragne (9.5), who are also the team’s leading rebounders, for points contributions.

As has been common this season, the Pirates have a huge height advantage over A&M. The Rattler’s tallest player stands 6-feet-9-inches tall; shorter than five players on Seton Hall’s roster. The Pirates’ twin towers, Romaro Gill and Ike Obiagu, both of whom are listed at 7-feet-2-inches, will need to be careful though, as they’ll be relied on heavily.

Gill had four big blocks in their last matchup, but both fouled out of the game Sunday in the second half. 6-foot-11-inch Sandro Mamukelashvili, will have a critical role in the A&M bout, as his 17 were second most for the Pirates scoring-wise. He pulled down seven crucial boards vs. the Billikens as well.

The game will be broadcast on WSOU 89.5 FM with Bob Towey and Jorie Mickens on the call. Pregame coverage starts at 11:45 a.m.

Justin Morris can be reached at justin.morris@student.shu.edu.

Posted in: Sports, WSOU, Men's Basketball

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