Pope too much to handle for the Deacons
The Seton Hall men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to five games on Saturday night, defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 68-54 at the Prudential Center.
Seton Hall is now 6-0 on their home floor and 8-1 on the season overall.
The Pirates were led by senior forward Herb Pope who finished the game with his seventh double-double of the season, scoring 26 points andg rabbing 14 rebounds.
“He’s a beast right now,” Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said. “This doesn’t surprise me at all. [Herb Pope] has been doing this all season. He’s put in a lot of hard work to develop his game in practice and he’s got a lot of offensive confidence right now, which is great to see. He’s just doing a lot of good things.”
Senior guard Jordan Theodore also added 14 points and four assists while sophomore forward Fuquan Edwin contributed 14 points and six rebounds of his own.
According to coach Willard, the offense is firing on all cylinders right now.
“I run this offense through Herb,” Willard said. “Jordan controls it, but the ball goes through Herb. I said going into the year that we would have to rely on two guys, and they continue to do it. I think they’re really enjoying the fact that they’re the guys.”
As a team, the Pirates shot 48.9 percent from the floor, but hit just 18 of their 30 attempted free throws (53.8 percent), something coach Willard said is becoming a bit of a concern.
The Hall did most of their work offensively inside the arc, scoring 36 points in the paint thanks to Pope’s aggressiveness in the low post.
“The referees helped me out a bit tonight and I got to the free throw line a bit,” Pope said. “I know I’m going to get my rebounds but the scoring has been the added bonus for me.
For Wake Forest, sophomore forward Travis McKie led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds, playing 37 minutes in the loss. Junior C.J. Harris added 12 points and two rebounds.
The Demon Deacons shot just 39.6 percent for the game as a team.
According to coach Willard, freshman forward Brandon Mobley, who has been inactive with a shoulder injury and has yet to see action this season, will visit another doctor on Tuesday. The coach expects Mobley to be cleared on that day.
The Pirates are back in action on Sunday, Dec. 18 against the Mercer Bears. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.