Jan. 25, 2014
NEWARK, N.J. - There was a steady stream of snow falling outside, but Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J.) and the Seton Hall men's basketball team turned up the heat inside the Prudential Center from the opening tip Saturday as the Pirates cruised to an 86-69 win over DePaul. The victory was the first for Seton Hall (12-8, 3-4) at home in BIG EAST play after having played four of its first six conference games on the road.
Edwin, who was honored before the game for becoming the all-time Seton Hall leader in steals, converted on 11 of his 16 field goal attempts to finish with a game-high 30 points. It was the second 30-point effort of the season for the Paterson, N.J. native in an efficient offensive performance by The Hall that featured a season-high 21 assists. Edwin was the only Pirate to reach double-figures in scoring.
Junior Patrik Auda (Brno, Czech Republic) filled the stat sheet with nine points, six rebounds and a career-high tying five assists. Red-shirt sophomore guard Sterling Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J.) added five assists of his own and had a game-high seven rebounds. After the Seton Hall starters recorded 70 of the team's 76 points against St. John's, the Pirate reserves chipped in a combined 25 points led by a career-best eight from senior Aaron Geramipoor (Manchester, England).
After taking a 20-point edge into the locker room following a first half in which the team shot a collective 62.1 percent (18-for-29) from the floor, the Pirates never saw their lead dip below 16 points in the final 20 minutes. Two free throws from Brian Oliver (Glassboro, N.J.) widened the gap to 54-27 with 17:17 to play, giving The Hall its largest lead of the game. Each scoreless at the break, Oliver and Auda combined for 16 of the team's 41 points in the final stanza - the third-straight half in which the Pirates topped the 40-point mark.
Edwin knocked down two treys and scored the final eight points of an early 11-2 run from The Hall, helping head coach Kevin Willard's squad open up a 13-4 advantage just over five minutes into the action. Nine of the Pirates' next 10 field goals came in the paint as Seton Hall dominated DePaul inside, due in large part to a defensive effort that forced the Blue Demons into 11 turnovers in the period. The Hall tallied 26 points inside and scored 19 of its 45 first half points off giveaways to run out to a 20-point lead at the intermission.
The early offensive eruption was a welcome deviation from a recent road stretch in which the Pirates posted less than 30 points in three consecutive games.
Senior guard Brandon Young paced DePaul (10-11, 2-6) with 23 points while backcourt mate R.J. Curington added 15 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Seton Hall will return to the Prudential Center on Wednesday when they will host Butler in the inaugural meeting between the two programs. FOX Sports 1 will carry a live national broadcast with tip-off scheduled for 9 p.m. Seton Hall's radio team of Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin can be heard locally on 570 AM (WMCA) or through SHUPirates.com.
Tickets are still available, including an attractive offer through the Seton Hall Athletics SHUper Bowl pack. For more information, log on to HallTix.com or call the Seton Hall ticket office at (973) 275-HALL (4255).