Seton Hall prepares for Maine
After a split in the bracket part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament in Uncasville, Conn., the men’s basketball team will return home to the Prudential Center for the first ever matchup with Maine on Wednesday.
In its most recent game, the Pirates (3-1) rallied from 13 points down against URI to win 60-55. Junior center Eugene Teague led the Pirates with 21 points and nine boards, after being held scoreless in the contest against Washington.
Against Washington, the Pirates erased an 18 point second-half deficit to take a six-point lead, but would ultimately end up losing in overtime.
The Pirates struggled in the contest after losing sophomore forward Brandon Mobley to a hyperextended knee in the third minute. According to head coach Kevin Willard, Mobley will be out at least two weeks.
The story of the weekend was the resiliency of the young Pirates team.
“We just have to play like we played in the second half in the first half,” Teague said after the win against URI.
In both games, graduate guard Kyle Smyth hit a 3-pointer in the final minutes of the second half that tied the game.
“Hopefully from now on we won’t be in the situation,” Smyth said. “My teammates made good passes, and I just have to hit the shot.”
In the game against Washington, junior forward Fuquan Edwin, who was named to the All-Tournament team, scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half and overtime.
“It shows a lot of character for us, just handling situations,” Edwin said. “A lot of guys showed a lot of toughness for us. What we took from it was not starting off slow.”
As for Willard, he said that the team can take much out of coming back and winning the game against URI
“The win is probably the most important thing,” Willard said. “It doesn’t matter what type of game it was.”
Similarly the Maine Black Bears (0-3) have been in several close contests, with their last two losses coming by three points or less, including a 70-68 loss to Brown on Saturday.
Maine has three starters averaging double-digit points, including junior forward Alasdair Fraser, who is also averaging 11 rebounds per contest.
Rebounding is a key for the Pirates, especially since Willard took over in March 2010. Since Willard’s first game, the Pirates are 8-28 when being out rebounded.
The Black Bears are averaging 41 rebounds per game, while the Pirates grab 36.5 per game.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at Thomas.Brennan@student.shu.edu.