NEWARK, N.J. – Senior forward Brandon Mobley scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds and junior guard Sterling Gibbs added 17 points, leading Seton Hall to a 63-47 victory over Mercer Sunday afternoon.
It was the season opener for the Pirates, who introduced their new roster that includes highly touted freshman guard Isaiah Whitehead, who struggled a little in his debut, connecting on just one-of-10 shots, scoring just two points.
The Pirates took the lead for good courtesy of a 13-0 run over a five-minute span of the first half. Whitehead scored his first career points on a left-handed drive and fellow freshman Angel Delgado added five points during that stretch. Delgado was impressive in his debut, scoring eight points and adding 12 rebounds.
The Pirates led 35-24 at the half and pushed the lead to 44-31 with 13:37 remaining on a rebound basket from Mobley.
Sophomore guard Jaren Sina canned a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 61-42 with 1:05 remaining.
Mercer (1-1) was led by Ike Nwamu, who had 20 points, the lone Mercer player to reach double figures.
MERCER: The Bears have freshman Jordan Strawberry on their roster. The 6-1 guard from Los Angeles is the son of former MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry, who was in attendance at the game..The Bears lost all five starters from last year's Atlantic Sun Conference champions who defeated Duke in the first round of last season's NCAA Tournament, the school's first-ever win in the NCAA tourney.Mercer is now a member of the Southern Conference beginning this season.
SETON HALL: Whitehead is the program's first McDonald's All-American honoree since the late Eddie Griffin in 2000.Whitehead was selected as the preseason Big East Rookie of the Year.The Pirates welcomed seven newcomers to their roster with Sunday's opener, including a recruiting class that was ranked as high as fourth in the nation by some polls.
Seton Hall heads to the U.S. Virgin Islands to take on Nevada Friday in the annual Paradise Jam tournament.
Mercer will play host to Kennesaw State Wednesday night.