FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jared Rhoden scored 21 points as No. 21 Seton Hall beat California 62-59 on Wednesday night in the third-place game at the Fort Myers Tip-Off.
Kadary Richmond had 12 points, while Alexis Yetna and Tyrese Samuel each scored 10 for Seton Hall (4-1).
“I knew this was going to be a tough game,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said.
Seton Hall made its first appearance in the AP Top 25 this week since the end of the 2019-20 season after beating then-No. 4 Michigan 67-65 on Nov. 16. However, the Pirates lost their first game at the Fort Myers event, 79-76 to Ohio State.
Andre Kelly had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Grant Anticevich scored 15 points for California (2-4). Kelly went 7 for 8 from the floor and made all nine three throws.
“I thought we played really well against a nationally-ranked team,” California coach Mark Fox said. “We obviously had some possessions where we had some turnovers that lead to baskets, and those are costly errors. I thought we competed well.”
Yetna hit one of two free throws to put Seton Hall up 60-59 with 1:05 to go.
After Cal’s Jalen Celestine missed a 3, Richmond was called for a charge with 24 seconds left.
Anticevich missed a long-range jumper before Rhoden made it 62-59 on two free throws with 6 seconds left. Seton Hall fouled Joel Brown, who missed both free throws, on the ensuing possession.
“Grant is a great shooter,” Fox said. “I want him to shoot that shot every time. I thought we executed it well. It just didn’t go in.”
Seton Hall shot 34% (17 of 50) but converted 24 of 30 free throws.
“We’re offensively challenged right now,” Willard said. “We’re trying to make things happen instead of letting things happen.”
In a game that featured runs by both teams, Anticevich had 10 points, including two 3s, and Kelly hit two free throws in a 12-5 surge that gave Cal a 56-51 lead with four minutes remaining.
After Cal put together a 14-2 run midway through the second half, Rhoden connected on a jumper and a layup as Seton Hall scored eight points in a row for a 46-44 advantage.
Cal went up 39-38 with 12:30 remaining when Lars Thiemann blocked a shot and Jordan Shepherd made a layup. Shepherd then hit a jumper to make it 41-38 after another rejection by Thiemann.
Seton Hall led 27-25, going 12 of 15 from the free-throw line in the first 20 minutes. For Cal, Kelly was perfect from the field (6 for 6) and on the line (3 for 3) in his 15-point first half.
“He made some tough shots,” Willard said. “He’s a double-double walking.”
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