NEWARK, N.J. - Reinforcements arrived on Wednesday night for a Seton Hall team that has dealt with its share of injuries this season, as sophomore Brandon Mobley (Savannah, Ga.) and junior Brian Oliver (Glassboro, N.J.) returned to action and helped lift SHU to a 55-47 win over visiting USF.
The win snapped a four-game skid for Seton Hall (13-6, 2-4) as the Pirates remained perfect in six home meetings against the Bulls, improving to 9-2 all-time against USF.
Showing few ill-effects from a shoulder injury suffered against Providence, Mobley tallied 14 points and matched a career-high with seven field goals made on just eight attempts. Oliver returned from a five-game hiatus forced by ankle injury and provided timely offense as he knocked down all three of his field goal attempts, each of which came from downtown, to finish with nine points.
Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J.) led all players with 16 points and 10 rebounds, recording his third double-double of the season. He now sits just three points shy of becoming the 40th player in Seton Hall history to score 1,000 career points.
With the Pirates lineup finally approaching full-strength, the first half rotation reflected the added depth head coach Kevin Willard had at his disposal after playing the last few games with a shorthanded roster. Five different players put their names in the scorebook as SHU connected on six of its first seven attempts to jump out to a 14-6 advantage with just under seven minutes into the game. The Bulls responded with a 7-0 run to pull within one, but Gene Teague (Vineland, N.J.) put an end to the stretch, scoring down low, to jumpstart a four-minute stretch where Seton Hall rattled off nine unanswered points of their own, opening up their largest lead of the half at 23-13.
From there, The Hall went almost four minutes without a field goal, but Aaron Cosby (Louisville, Ky.) connected with Mobley on an alley-oop to push the margin back to 10 with 2:13 before the break. With under a minute on the clock, Cosby found Oliver for his second three-pointer of the half to stretch the gap to 10 for a third time, but Jawanza Poland hit a three just before the buzzer to send the teams into halftime with Seton Hall ahead 29-22.
For the half, nine SHU players saw action and seven scored as the Pirates shot an even 60 percent (12-for-20) from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc. It was the fourth time this year that SHU has shot at least 60 percent in a half. Conversely, USF shot just 32 percent and found the mark on just 2-of-10 three-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes.
USF scored the first six points of the second half, but Edwin answered for Seton Hall with five consecutive points that put the Pirates up six, 34-28. SHU went on to make its next four shots and went into the second media timeout of the half with a 41-32 edge. Seton Hall controlled much of the remaining action as the Bulls never managed to pull closer than six points.
For the game, SHU shot 52.5 percent from the floor, their best effort in a BIG EAST game this season. The Pirates also limited USF to 33.9 percent shooting, including a season-low 15.8 percent (3-of-19) from three-point range.
Poland accounted for all three three-pointers for USF (10-8, 1-5) and finished with a team-high 13 points.
Seton Hall will return to the court on Sunday, January 26 when they travel to Madison Square Garden to take on St. John's in a matinee affair. Game-time is scheduled for Noon.