BATON ROUGE, LA. - The Seton Hall men's basketball team led by as many as 16 points in the second half, but could not hold on as it fell, 72-67, at LSU as part of the 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge on Thursday.
Sophomore Brandon Mobley (Savannah, Ga.) led the Pirates with 17 points off the bench.
The game was a defensive battle early with neither team scoring a field goal until Mobley hit a jumper with 16:48 left in the first half. Two minutes later, Mobley's three-pointer gave the Pirates a 10-5 lead, but LSU mounted a small run and Andre Stringer's three-pointer tied the game at 12 with 12:20 before the half.
With the score tied at 14, Seton Hall went on a 7-0 run highlighted by a three-pointer from Kyle Smyth (River Edge, N.J.) to give the Pirates a 21-14 lead.
LSU (5-0) pulled to within two, 26-24, on Charles Carmouche's put-back, but four straight points by Aaron Cosby (Louisville, Ky.) extended the Pirates' lead to 30-24 with 3:10 left in the half.
The Pirates (5-2) ended the first half with the same defensive intensity of which they started the game, holding the Tigers without a field goal over the final 4:18 of the half. A pair of free-throws by Eugene Teague (Vineland, N.J.) with 34 seconds left enabled the Pirates to enter the locker room with a 35-27 lead, their largest of the half.
Mobley led all scorers in the first half with 15 points, thanks largely to 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range.
Brian Oliver (Glassboro, N.J.) connected on a three-pointer on Seton Hall's first possession of the second half. Tom Maayan (Galil, Israel) stole the ball and fed Cosby, who drained the second Pirates' trifecta in 10 seconds to put them up, 41-27. In all, Seton Hall opened the second half on an 11-3 run to take a commanding 46-30 lead with 17:18 remaining.
LSU picked up their defensive intensity however, and outscored the Pirates, 22-6, over the next 8:21 to tie the game at 52. A three-pointer by Oliver and a put-back by Edwin regained the lead for Seton Hall, 57-52, but the Tigers went on a 11-1 run to take a 63-58 lead with 5:28 left.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Cosby and Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J.) put the Pirates back in front, 64-63 with 3:42 to go. But Shavon Coleman scored on the next LSU possession to give the Tigers a 65-64 lead and four straight Seton Hall turnovers enabled LSU to ice the game on the free-throw line.
With the loss, Seton Hall falls to 1-2 all-time in the annual event. The Pirates defeated Auburn, 81-59, last season, and fell to Arkansas, 71-62, in 2010.
Leading scorer Fuquan Edwin was held to just seven points due to early foul trouble.
The Pirates fell despite shooting 49.0% from the field, compared to 39.7% for LSU.
The Pirates will return to action on Tuesday, December 4 when they return to the Prudential Center to host NJIT. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.