GAME NOTES: Playing in their third different venue in as many games, the Seton Hall Pirates make the trip to Connecticut to battle the Washington Huskies as part of the Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Seton Hall, which doesn't have that far to travel for this particular contest, has won both of its games thus far and both were considered home dates even though they were played in different locales. Last Friday the team opened 2012-13 with a 75-36 thrashing of UMKC at Walsh Gym in South Orange, NJ and then three days later the Pirates captured a 78-65 victory over Norfolk State at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
As for the Huskies, they arrive in Connecticut direct from Seattle where they topped Loyola-Maryland by a final of 85-63 at Alaska Airlines Arena in their season-opener last weekend and then bowed to Albany by a single point, 63-62, on Tuesday.
The teams will be back in action again tomorrow to face off against Ohio State and Rhode Island, with matchups depending on the outcomes today.
Against Norfolk State at the Prudential Center, Fuquan Edwin assumed control for the hosts, posting 23 points, 10 rebounds and six steals, as the team has now won all six openers in the building since moving in 2007-08. Also recording a double-double for Seton Hall as the team moved to a perfect 12-0 against members of the MEAC, was Eugene Teague with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Kyle Smyth came off the bench to offer up 14 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting behind the three-point line. Although he was held scoreless over 28 minutes, Brandon Mobley contributed with 10 rebounds of his own. Edwin, who is shooting slightly better behind the three-point line (.455) than he is from the floor (.448) over two games, leads the unit in scoring with 19.5 ppg, while Teague accounts for another 15.0 ppg as a 64.7 percent shooter. Defensively, the Pirates have held the competition to a mere 31.7 percent success from the floor.
Leading by as many as eight points in the second half, the Huskies outscored visiting Albany by a 12-1 margin at the free-throw line after the break, yet somehow the squad was still saddled with the narrow loss. In a meeting that saw eight ties and 16 lead changes, Washington was paced by Aziz N'Diaye, who recorded a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Abdul Gaddy tallied a team-best 16 points in the losing effort. C.J. Wilcox chipped in 11 points, but in doing so he shot only 1-of-5 beyond the arc and 5-of-14 from the floor overall. Wilcox and Gaddy, the top two returners from a year ago, have immediately assumed their leadership roles, at least on offense, with scoring averages of 16.5 ppg apiece, as both players shoot better than 51.5 percent from the floor. N'Diaye is bit further down on the scoring list with his 11.5 ppg, but where he is the clear-cut leader is on the glass with 13.5 boards per outing.
The fact that the Huskies have to make the long trip will certainly count against them, not to mention their weak performance against a visiting Albany squad in a venue that has been so good to them over the years.
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