ANGEL DELGADO HAD 25 POINTS AND 13 REBOUNDS AND SETON HALL TOOK ANOTHER STEP TOWARD THE NCAA TOURNAMENT WITH A 71-64 WIN OVER FADING XAVIER ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

DESI RODRIGUEZ ADDED 22 POINTS AND PUT THE PIRATES (17-10, 7-8 BIG EAST) AHEAD FOR GOOD WITH A DRIVE ACROSS THAT IGNITED A 10-4 RUN.J.P. MACURA SCORED 22 POINTS AND TREVON BLUIETT, RETURNING FROM AN ANKLE INJURY, ADDED 14 AS THE FOUL-PLAGUED MUSKETEERS (18-10, 8-7) LOST THEIR FOURTH STRAIGHT.XAVIER HAD NOT LOST FOUR GAMES IN A ROW SINCE THE 2012-13 SEASON, THE ONLY CAMPAIGN IN THE LAST 11 THAT THE MUSKETEERS FAILED TO MAKE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT.COMING INTO THEIR THREE-GAME HOMESTAND, 

SETON HALL COACH KEVIN WILLARD FELT HIS TEAM HAD TO WIN TWO OF THE THREE GAMES AGAINST CREIGHTON, VILLANOVA AND XAVIER. THE PIRATES DID JUST THAT, LOSING ONLY TO THE WILDCATS, THE DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.THIS GAME WAS CLOSE THE WHOLE WAY. RODRIGUEZ BROKE A 43-ALL TIE WITH 13:49 TO PLAY WITH HIS DRIVE AND MYLES POWELL STRETCHED THE LEAD TO FIVE POINTS WITH A LONG 3-POINTER.AFTER QUENTIN GOODIN SCORED ON A LAYUP, ISMAEL SANOGO ADDED A FREE THROW FOR THE PIRATES TO MAKE IT 49-45. 

TYRIQUE JONES SCORED ON A DUNK TO GET XAVIER WITHIN 49-47 BUT RODRIGUEZ AND MADISON JONES SCORED IN THE LANE TO PUSH THE ADVANTAGE TO 53-47.XAVIER TWICE GOT WITHIN TWO POINTS, THE LAST ON TWO FREE THROWS BY BLUIETT WITH 7:26 TO PLAY.HOWEVER, DELGADO CONVERTED A THREE-POINT PLAY TO IGNITE AN 8-0 RUN THAT GAVE THE PIRATES BREATHING ROOM THE REST OF THE WAY.