Using a 13-0 run to end the game the Seton Hall men’s basketball team held West Virginia scoreless for the final 6:52 of the game to earn the 67-48 victory on Friday night.
The win is the Pirates first in the Big East this season following their opening loss to Syracuse by 26 points. It improves their record to 12-2 and 1-1 in conference while West Virginia drops to 10-4 and 1-1 in conference.
“Absolutely,” senior Herb Pope said about the game as a must win. “When you get down 0-2 it’s hard to win two in a row but it’s easy to lose two in a row. You just have to stay at .500 and better.”
Following a jumper from freshman Gary Browne, the Mountaineers cut the Hall’s lead to six points with a 9-2 run at 54-48 before sophomore Fuquan Edwin made a jumper to start the Pirates game ending run.
“We knew they were gonna make a run,” senior Jordan Theodore said. “All we had to do was just settle down, keep our composure, and take good shots.”
The run started while Pope was sitting on the bench with four fouls after picking up his fourth with 8:43 remaining in the second half.
“I’m really proud of my young guys,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “I thought they were the difference in the game. Aaron Geramipoor is playing with confidence and if he can give us 13 minutes and give Herb (Pope) a blow for four or five minutes that’s huge.”
Following Edwin’s jumper, Theodore drove the lane to put the Hall back up 10 points at 58-48 with 5:27 left in the second half.
“It’s just me doing something for the team,” Theodore said. “We needed to get a bucket at that time and glad I was able to come through.”
During the scoreless stretch for West Virginia, the Hall held the Mountaineers to 0-8 shooting from the floor.
Edwin led all scorers with 19 points on 8-14 shooting, while senior Jordan Theodore collected 18 points to go along with eight assists and zero turnovers.
“He’s maturing and really starting to enjoy the role of being ‘the guy,'” Willard said. “He is doing it in a really responsible way with eight assists and no turnovers. He’s being very efficient.”
Pope also scored in double figures with 13 points.
As a team the Pirates shot 48 percent from the field, while holding West Virginia to only 32 percent shooting from the floor.
For West Virginia, senior Kevin Jones led the team with a double-double recording 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pirates jumped out to the early lead after the first media timeout of the game with the Hall trailing the Mountaineers 7-5. Once play resumed Pope made a lay-up to tie the game and followed that up with an old fashion three point play to give the Pirates the 10-7 lead.
Those baskets from Pope started an 11-0 run for the Hall to give them a 16-7 lead.
Just a few minutes later the Pirates started another run this time outscoring West Virginia 12-2, finished off from Theodore driving the lane for a lay-up.
The Pirates next play at home against the Connecticut Huskies on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 7:00p.m.
Stephen Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org