Monday, November 17, 2014

Seton Hall 63, Mercer 47: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEWARK, NJ -­ The initial weekend of the college season wound down with Seton Hall hosting Mercer in their opener. Invading the Rock was a team that defeated The Hall in two overtimes a year ago. That same Mercer team went on to go to the NCAAs and endear themselves to Carolina Tar Heel fans by upsetting Duke in the opening round.

On this afternoon, there would be no upset. The Hall defeated the Bears, who now call the Southern Conference home, 63-­47. The principals of the victory included Brandon Mobley with a team high 19 points, Jaren Sina, and Sterling Gibbs. Angel Delgado proved to be a newcomer to watch as the 6­-9 freshman grabbed 12 boards and scored 8 points. Highly regarded Isaiah Whitehead of Seton Hall scored only two points on one-of-ten shooting, a harsh reminder of the bumps in the road freshmen must navigate on the road to fulfilling potential.

The game was actually closer than the final 16-point margin indicated. For the most part it was a two or three-possession affair. In the latter part of the final half, Mercer went on a scoring drought and Seton Hall capitalized, putting the game away.

No upset, except for Mercer coach Bob Hoffman. He was genuinely upset one of the scoreboards continuously malfunctioned and he could not get a correct score.

On the first weekend of the season, even the equipment sometimes needs a little work before rounding into mid­season form.

About an hour to game time. Traffic is so light outside the Rock that a photo vantage point on the road was safe:
Pregame stretching 50 minutes prior to tip:
Tony Greene and Doug Shows during a timeout. Brent Hampton also comprised an excellent crew:
The Hall takes the floor for the second half:
Reyna Salvatore, a graduate assistant for Pirate Blue, chats with a friend during a timeout. Reyna was a four-year cheerleader for the Pirates and a 2012 grad:
Sterling Gibbs, a picture of free throw concentration:
Jaren Sina looks for an opening on a baseline inbounds:

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