Jan. 4, 2014
NEWARK, N.J. - The Seton Hall men's basketball team had its three game win streak snapped on Saturday as the Pirates fell to Creighton, 79-66, in their BIG EAST home opener at the Prudential Center.
The Hall moves to 10-5 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. Creighton, who received votes in the most recent versions of both the AP and Coaches Polls; improved to 12-2 and 2-0 against BIG EAST competition with the victory.
Playing without big man Eugene Teague (Vineland, N.J.) for the second game in a row, the Pirates were upended by 11 in the battle on the boards. Facing the top 3-point shooting team in the nation, the Pirates were out-produced inside as Creighton scored 40 points in the paint to only 20 for The Hall. The Bluejays also held an 11-to-1 advantage in offensive rebounds and totaled 19 second chance points for the game.
Redshirt sophomore Sterling Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J.) scored 17 points to lead Seton Hall for the fifth time this season. Teammate Brian Oliver (Glassboro, N.J.) knocked down four triples to finish with 12 points; his fifth game with at least four made 3-pointers on the year.
After creating a 12-point gap heading into the intermission, Creighton never trailed in the second half. Gibbs twice cut the deficit to single digits in the opening minutes of the final period, the latter of which came on a free throw that made the score 49-41 with 17:39 to go, but The Hall would draw no closer.
19 of the Pirates' 33 second half points came from the charity stripe, including seven consecutive free-throws during a 9-0 run that pulled Seton Hall within 69-57 with just over eight minutes remaining. All-American Doug McDermott helped keep Seton Hall at bay, scoring six of his eight second half points down the stretch to help secure the victory.
After scoring 22 points in the first half, McDermott finished with game-highs of 30 points, 10 rebounds to go with five assists.
The Pirates outshot the Bluejays in the first half hitting 50% of their field goal attempts with six 3-pointers. Creighton still managed to take a 45-33 advantage into the break on the strength of eight offensive rebounds, which resulted in a 15-to-0 edge in second chance points.
Three of The Hall's first four field goals came from downtown and a trey by Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J.) put Seton Hall in front, 11-9, just over 14 minutes into the action. McDermott quickly evened the score with a layup on the other end and after a brief tie at 13-13, helped Creighton move ahead for good with two free throws at the 14:12 mark of the half.
Edwin contributed eight points, two assists and one steal off the bench, moving into a tie with Paul Gause for second all-time on the Seton Hall steals list with 256 for his career. The senior swingman needs four more to tie the program's record of 260 steals held by former BIG EAST Player of the Year Dan Callandrillo.
Jahenns Manigat added 14 points and Grant Gibbs chipped in 12 points for Creighton as the Bluejays scored their second win in eight all-time meetings. Saturday's matchup marked the first meeting between the two schools as conference opponents, ending a nearly 23-year hiatus in the series. The two teams had not faced off since Seton Hall advanced with an 81-69 win in the second round of the 1991 NCAA Tournament.
Seton Hall will be back in action on Wednesday as the Pirates host #11/#14 Villanova in their final home appearance before beginning a three-game road swing. A live national telecast on the CBS Sports Network begins at 7 p.m. Seton Hall's radio team of Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin can be heard on 970 AM (WNYM) or through SHUPirates.com.