NEW YORK, N.Y. - Seton Hall rallied from an eight-point deficit with 2:50 remaining in regulation to force overtime and eventually shock USF, 46-42, in the first round of the 2013 BIG EAST Championship on Tuesday.
With the victory, Seton Hall will face fifth-seeded Syracuse in the tournament's second round, Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.
After starting the game just 3-for-11, junior Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J.) took over in the clutch, scoring the final six points in regulation including a driving layup with just 18 seconds left to tie the game at 37. In overtime, Edwin scored the game's final four points, a layup to put Seton Hall on top, 44-42, with under a minute remaining, and a pair of free-throws with 0.9 seconds left to ice the victory.
Edwin finished with a game-high 17 points. Junior Eugene Teague (Vineland, N.J.) notched his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In true Seton Hall/USF fashion the game was a defensive battle from the start. USF scored the first five points of the game, but the Pirates remained close early thanks to three-pointers by Aaron Cosby (Louisville, Ky.) and Edwin. After the Bulls scored the aforementioned first five points, the teams traded baskets for the next 9:51 until Teague scored buckets on back-to-back Seton Hall possessions to give the Pirates a 15-14 lead with 8:43 left in the first half.
The Bulls however, closed the half on a 6-2 run and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick's put-back at the halftime buzzer gave USF a 20-17 lead at the break.
Edwin scored 14 seconds into the second half to cut the USF lead to one, but the Bulls responded with a 9-2 run capped by an ally-oop from Anthony Collins to Zach LeDay which gave USF a 29-21 lead. Seton Hall then scored six straight to get back to within two at 29-27 with 10:59 left to play.
An 8-2 run highlighted by a Victor Rudd three-pointer gave USF a commanding 37-29 lead with just 3:16 remaining. But the Pirates had one last run in them and reeled off eight straight points with under three minutes remaining. USF had three chances to win the game in their final possession, but they missed the mark and when Fitzpatrick's last second tip didn't fall, the game went into overtime.
The Pirates turned up their defensive intensity after halftime and held USF to just 17.9% (5-for-28) shooting in the second half. The Bulls were also just 2-for-11 in overtime.
Sophomore Haralds Karlis (Riga, Latvia) left the game mid-way through the first half after injuring his face during a scrum for a loose ball under the basket and did not return.
Only the second overtime game this season for Seton Hall, the Pirates even their record at 1-1.
The victory is the second in two all-time meetings vs. USF in the BIG EAST Championship. The teams also met in the first round of the 2009 tournament.
Seton Hall has now won its first round game of the BIG EAST Championship in four of the last five seasons.