ROSEMONT, ILL. – Sophomore Aaron Cosby (Louisville, Ky.) scored a career-high 24 points as the Seton Hall men’s basketball team opened BIG EAST play with a thrilling 73-72 victory at DePaul on Wednesday.
Both Brandon Mobley (Savannah, Ga.) and Eugene Teague (Vineland, N.J.) recorded double-doubles. Mobley finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for his team-leading fifth double-double of the season. Teague was a monster on the boards, grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds to go with 11 points.
With under two minutes left, Teague made the most of one of the Pirates’ final possessions, grabbing three offensive rebounds before finally scoring inside to cut the Pirates’ deficit to one with just 1:02 remaining. DePaul never got a shot off on the ensuing possession as Kyle Smyth (River Edge, N.J.) knocked the ball free from Brandon Young, and Aaron Cosby dove on the floor, gained possession of the ball, and called a timeout with just 11 seconds left.
Out of the timeout, Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J.) drove to the hoop and scored to give Seton Hall a 73-72 lead with just seven seconds left. DePaul’s Jamee Crockett put up a desperation three-pointer, but it missed the mark.
The victory is the Pirates’ seventh straight and improves them to 12-2 overall and 1-0 in BIG EAST Conference play. It’s also the first time since the 2003-04 season that Seton Hall has opened conference play with a road win.
Due to injuries and the recent transfer of Freddie Wilson, the Pirates were left with just seven healthy scholarship players against the Blue Demons, who had won seven of their last eight games.
DePaul applied fierce defensive pressure early in the game, and forced several Pirates’ turnovers, but SHU was able to neutralize the pressure by shooting well from three-point range. Seton Hall was successful on its first four attempts from downtown and grabbed an early 14-10 lead with 14:34 left in the first half.
Cosby’s third trifecta of the half gave the Pirates a 19-12 lead, but DePaul scored seven of the next nine points to pull to within two, 19-17, with 10:12 left in the half.
Leading 30-26, the Pirates went on a 10-2 run, highlighted by an acrobatic dunk off a rebound by sophomore Haralds Karlis (Riga, Latvia), to give them their largest lead of the game, 40-28, with just under a minute before halftime. DePaul scored four quick points, including a jumper at the buzzer by Durrell McDonald, to send Seton Hall into the break with a 40-32 lead.
Both teams shot well in the first half, but the Pirates were red-hot, shooting at a 56.0% clip. Cosby led Seton Hall with 15 first half points.
Coming out of the break the game got close in a hurry as DePaul connected on its first three-pointer of the game and both Edwin and Teague picked up their third fouls of the game. Jamee Crockett’s putback with 15:10 remaining cut the Pirates’ lead to 46-44.
DePaul’s Durrell McDonald sank a three-pointer as the shot clock expired to tie the game at 52, and on the next possession, Brandon Young completed a three-point play to give the Blue Demons their first lead since 4-3. A three-pointer by Crockett gave DePaul its largest lead of the night, 64-59, but five straight points by Mobley tied the game at 64 with 5:07 left to play.
Down 68-64, Cosby connected on his fourth three-pointer of the night to pull Seton Hall to within one with just 3:05 to go. A layup by DePaul’s Brandon Young extended the lead to three, but a pair of Cosby free-throws again cut the deficit to one, 70-69. With 2:07 to go, McDonald hit a jumper to again put DePaul up by three, but they would be the last points the Blue Demons would score.
Jamee Crockett led the Blue Demons with 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Pirates will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5 when they remain on the road for a game with #21 Notre Dame. Game time is scheduled for noon ET.