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The Pirates (12-9, 3-5) will hit the road to take on Xavier (15-5, 5-2) on Saturday in the two teams first ever showdown as conference opponents.

The Pirates are coming off a 64-57 loss on Wednesday night at home against Butler.

In that game, senior swingman Fuquan Edwin scored 20 points but the Pirates were outrebounded 35-34 in the loss.

Xavier has also struggled of late, their last game being a 81-72 loss at Providence last Saturday.

Xavier’s record ranks them third in the Big East while Seton Hall is in fifth place in the conference.

Entering Wednesday, the Musketeers boasted the top-ranked rebounding margin (+6.8) in the Big East.

Rebounding margin is not a statistic that the Pirates can take much pride in as their lowly +0.5 ratio is second to last in the conference.

Despite this struggling figure, senior center Eugene Teague’s 8.6 rebounds per game gives him a share of second place in the conference.

Unfortunately Teague shares these honors with Xavier’s Matt Stainbrook.

Teague leads the conference in offensive rebounds per game (3.5) while Stainbrook’s 5.9 defensive rebounds per game rank him second in the Big East.

Seton Hall should be able to have a chance to improve on some struggling defense they have displayed all season.

The Pirates 7.1 steals per game is second in the Big East. Edwin leads the conference with 2.9 steals per game and is holding a 39 game steal streak.

This is a good weapon to have in the arsenal against a Xavier team that has the worst turnover margin (-1.10) in the Big East.

Both teams offer a wealth of scoring, while Seton Hall’s 76.8 points per game rank them third in the Big East, the next on the list for average points scored in the conference are the Musketeer’s with 75.8 points per game.

Xavier’s leading scorer is sophomore Semaj Christon, who entered Wednesday night’s action averaging 17 points per game, sixth in the Big East in scoring.

Seton Hall’s leading scorers are Sterling Gibbs (15.1 points per game) and Edwin (13.7 points per game) who rank 11th and 15th in Big East scoring, respectively.

Teague has also made a contribution to the offense, his .602 field goal percentage is the best in the Big East.

The thus-far unpredictable Big East has shown that teams are always evenly matched when playing against a conference opponent.

The game will take place at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati at noon.

Gerard Gilberto can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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