Whitehead's 17 lead Seton Hall to 75-63 win
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard had one message for his team: Keep the ball out of Stefan Moody's hands.
The Pirates did so, limiting the high-scoring guard to a season-low 13 points on the way to a 75-63 victory over Mississippi on Sunday to take fifth place at the Charleston Classic.
Moody had gone for 18 points in the tournament opener Thursday against George Mason and a career-high 30 the next day against Towson. Willard did not want to see that happen in this one.
''They have a lot of pick and pop guys'' at Ole Miss, Willard said. ''That guy can shoot or those guys can shoot. And I didn't want Moody shooting.''
Isaiah Whitehead scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half for the Pirates (4-1).
Whitehead scored eight straight points down the stretch as Seton Hall took control of a tight game and left here with its second straight win in the three-game tournament.
Desi Rodriguez had 12 points and Khadeen Carrington 10 for Seton Hall. Angel Delgado had eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for the Pirates.
Moody was just 4 of 13 from the floor and finished 11 points under his season scoring average. Seton Hall rotated Carrington, Derrick Gordon and Whitehead on Moody at times, all with a size advantage on the 5-foot-11 Ole Miss standout.
Tomasz Gielo had 15 points to lead the Rebels.
''They were just so much more consistent than us with the ball,'' Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. ''The numbers speak for themselves.''
They certainly do.
Seton Hall shot 59.7 percent in the second half and nearly 50 percent for the game. Ole Miss finished 10 of 20 from the foul line.
''I can't remember the last time we shot 50 percent from the free-throw line,'' Kennedy said.
The teams played a back-and-forth contest for the first 27 minutes, trading the lead 22 times during that stretch.
Moody's layup tied things at 44-all before Derrick Gordon hit two foul shots with 12:49 left that put the Pirates up to stay.
Seton Hall steadily extended the margin.
The lead changed hands 15 times in the opening period, the final one coming on Gielo's short jumper as time expired to give Mississippi a 31-30 lead at the break.
The teams swapped the lead seven more times before Seton Hall broke away.
Mississippi: Marcanvis Hymon has made an impact at the Charleston Classic. The redshirt freshman had career highs of 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the Rebels win over Towson on Friday.
Seton Hall: Pirates senior Derrick Gordon had started the first 100 games of his college career at Western Kentucky and Massachusetts. He's averaged 10 points a game coming off the bench for Seton Hall in the first four games. He got his first start of the season against Ole Miss and finished with nine points.
Isaiah Whitehead was not on the floor with the starters for Seton Hall after getting to start the team's first four. What was the problem coach?
''Nothing major. He was two minutes late to the bus'' heading to the game, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. ''Everyone knows the rules.''
Willard said Whitehead apologized.
Freshman Marcanvis Hymon did not bring the game he showed Friday against Towson to face Seton Hall. He missed all four shots he attempted and finished with no points. He did collect nine rebounds. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said two fouls in the first five minutes took him out of the action.
Mississippi played Georgia State on Wednesday.
Seton Hall plays a second straight SEC opponent, facing Georgia on Saturday night.