Seton Hall to face Providence in Big East Tournament opener
Two consecutive losses to Rutgers and DePaul to end the regular season has dropped the Pirates to a No. 10 seed in the Big East Tournament with a matchup against No. 15 seed Providence Friars, Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Hall enters the game with a 19-11 record overall and 8-10 in conference play while losing three of their final four games. Providence holds a 15-16 record with a 4-14 mark overall, and has ended the season losing six of eight games.
The game also has large NCAA Tournament implications for the Hall. After seemingly secure in the field of 68, the Hall’s back to back has dropped the Pirates into ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s final four teams in the tournament.
Tuesday night will be the second matchup between the two teams this season. The Pirates defeated the Friars, 66-57 in Providence, back on Jan. 7. In the game senior Jordan Theodore made a game changing jumper with 3:23 remaining stopping a 10-1 run by Providence and starting a 9-0 by the Hall to give them a comfortable 63-53 lead with 55 seconds remaining.
Sophomore Fuquan Edwin led all scorers with a new career high 24 points, broken the next game with 28 against DePaul, along with 14 points from Theodore. Senior Herb Pope collected one of his 16 double-doubles on the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Providence was led by junior Vincent Council with 23 points, nine assists and six rebounds. This season Council has led the Big East with 7.5 assists a game to go along with averaging 16.2 points a game.
All-time Providence holds a slight 45-44 edge in the series but the Pirates have the advantage in the Big East Tournament with a 4-2 record and three straight.
The last time these two teams faced in the Big East Championships, the Hall held on to win 109-106 after almost blowing a 29 point lead with 13 minutes to play.
Council hit a 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds remaining cutting the score to three and after two missed free throws from the Hall, Providence had a chance to tie but missed the last second shot.
Pope scored 27 points while pulling down 11 rebounds in the victory with Theodore adding 21 points to go with his team high six assists. For Providence Jamie Peterson led the way with 38 points and 16 rebounds.
The winner of this game will advance to face No. 7 seed Louisville Cardinals in the second round of the Big East Championship.