Pirates win by 39 to open season
In front of a sold out crowd at Walsh Gymnasium, the men’s basketball team blew out the UMKC Roos by 39 points, 75-36, in its season opener on Friday night.
The Pirates, who never trailed during the contest, took a 12-point lead into the half, and came out of the break on a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 46-24.
During that run, junior forward Fuquan Edwin scored six of his 16 points off two 3-pointers, and freshman Tom Maayan scored five points on 2-2 shooting from the floor.
Maayan was notched as the starter for the game after sophomore guard Aaron Cosby chose not to play after being cleared by team doctors, according to head coach Kevin Willard.
Another sophomore guard, Freddie Wilson, was suspended for two games for violating a team rule. With the two point guards out, Maayan had to step up.
“It’s a great feeling for a point guard knowing you can throw it all over the place and you’re not coming out,” Willard said. “I thought it took him a little time to get his confidence. He’s going to be a really good player.”
The freshman also dished out a game-high six assists and recorded five steals in 28 minutes of action in his first collegiate game.
“Coming in I was excited,” Maayan said. “I think as a team we did good. We were positive, we passed the ball well. It was a good win for us.”
The Hall scored 30 points off of 20 Roo turnovers, while UMKC scored seven points off of 15 Pirate turnovers.
The Pirates shared the ball offensively with seven players recording an assist. The team had 19 assists on 25 field goals in the game, which led to four players scoring in double figures.
One of the Pirates in double figures was redshirt junior center Eugene Teague. Teague scored a team second-best 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
“It felt good,” Teague said. “I was a little nervous at first, but I was trying to stay motivated”
The only dent in Teague’s game on Friday was his 6-14 shooting from the free throw line.
“I missed a lot of free throws,” he said. “But I think I did alright.”
Teague was playing his first game in over a year and a half, and even still Willard said he believed the team didn’t get him involved enough in the first half, which “stalled” the offense.
“This was his first game in a long time,” Willard said. “He’s got to get a few more touches. We have to make sure we get him seven to eight touches a half.”
Teague made a huge dunk during the 12-2 run to being the second half on an assist from Maayan, which ended any hope of a comeback by the Roos.
“It was pretty big,” Teague said. “I was just trying to get the crowd into it.”
Sophomore Brandon Mobley quietly and efficiently recorded and double-double in just 22 minutes. The forward scored ten points on 3-4 shooting and grabbed 10 boards.
“I went out there and did what I was supposed to do,” Mobley said. “Rebound the ball, shoot when I was open and get my other teammates involved.”
The Hall shot 49 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc, while holding the Roos to 31.3 percent on the floor and 20 percent from 3-point range, and held the Roos to under 40 points.
“I don’t care who you play,” Willard said. “If you hold a team to under the 40 points that’s pretty darn good.”
Mobley said that although the win was nice, the team must keep in mind that the road doesn’t get easier moving forward.
“The schedule gets tougher as you go on,” Mobley said. “So we’re going to have to learn how to adjust.”
The Pirates will play their second game of the Hall of Fame Tip-off on Monday, Nov. 12 against Norfolk State at the Prudential Center. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at Thomas.Brennan@student.shu.edu.