PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Myles Powell struggled to get in an early rhythm as No. 13 Seton Hall closed its three-game stay in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Yet the way coach Kevin Willard saw it, it was just a matter of time before he would.
Powell scored 19 of his 24 points after halftime to help Seton Hall beat Iowa State 84-76 in Friday night’s fifth-place game, giving the Pirates two wins after an opening-round loss to No. 11 Oregon.
“He plays so hard that defenders, they’ll stick with him for the first half,” Willard said. “Then, usually in the second half, he’s going to come get you.”
Powell, a preseason AP All-American, made just 2 of 9 shots in the opening half. He made 7 of 10 after the break, including three 3-pointers, for the Pirates (6-2).
“I know my team’s going to go as I go,” Powell said. “So I just tried to come out and feed on defense first and the game just came to me.”
Sandro Mamukelashvili added 18 points for the Pirates, who finally took control with a 12-2 second-half run. The run included Powell burying a 3 over Tre Jackson at the 6:12 mark, then pointing emphatically at his shooting elbow as he got back on defense.
Later, Mamukelashvili hit his own 3 off a feed from Powell for a 76-65 lead with 4:38 left to cap the 12-2 run. It was also part of a run of five straight made shots for the Pirates, while the Cyclones went 1 for 7 during those key minutes.
Previously, neither team had led by more than six in the second half, and the Pirates didn’t let that margin slip below six again.
Seton Hall shot 61 percent for the second half and 54 percent for the game, the first of two in a row against Iowa State due to a quirk in the schedule.
Rasir Bolton scored 20 points for the Cyclones (4-3), who led by nine midway through the first half. Tyrese Haliburton added 19 points and seven assists.
“We were really in a good rhythm early,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “And then they raised it up a notch, and we didn’t weather that storm enough. We got flustered. We took some bad shots.”