It wasn't the prettiest win (Seton Hall games rarely ever are those kinds of contests), but despite having only four players in the game score a point, the Hall took control with a 13-0 run near the end of the first half and knocked off a North Carolina A&T team that gave them a heck of a fight.
Here are the 5 thoughts:
- Run, Run, Fudolf
The pace of this game was quick. Both teams tried out their presses early, and to some degree, both teams got results. A&T found some open shots early, hitting 4-11 from deep in the first half. The Pirates did as well. It wasn't until the under-8 media timeout the Pirates started to pull away by continuing to be efficient while their defense stiffened.
The second half was more of the same, and the main beneficiary of the pace was Fuquan Edwin. He scored a game-high 26 PTS and had 4 REB, 5 AST (also a game-high) and 3 STL. Par for the course in the stat-stuffing department.
But look closer- Edwin took only 12 shots from the field. TWELVE. If you take out his 5-8 showing from the free throw line, that's 21 PTS on 12 shots, including 5-7 (WHAT?!) from deep.
It's borderline impossible that Edwin can continue to keep his ridiculous line of 54% from the field AND from deep throughout the season, but man, is it fun to watch while it lasts. According to him, it's all in the practice. In other news, I'd like to start practicing the same way. Like, now.
- Power of 3
Taking away Gene Teague's modest line of 6 PTS and 9 REB (A&T doubled and tripled him on every catch, by the way, so forgive Big Gene in that regard), and only three players scored for the Hall.
But they all put up 22 or more. Weird, huh?
Aaron Cosby hit for a career-high 22 PTS on 6-11 shooting, 4-8 from deep, and 6-6 from the line. He was the secondary beneficiary of the accelerated pace, being aggressive and getting some nice looks in transition. Even with Tom Maayan having a forgetful game, it didn't matter because of Cosby's strong performance.
Brandon Mobley also continued to be an energetic monster, getting a new career-high 23 PTS of his own along with 13 REB for his second career double-double. He was a factor all throughout the game, getting 11 in the first half and 12 in the second, and displaying his normal trademark poised hustle on all fronts. He just might be the Pirates' second-best player (outside of Edwin, who's been going bonkers this season so far."
The Pirates only had 15 turnovers in this game, which represents a return to some semblance of normalcy in that regard. After what had happened in the last few games, it was great to see the team take care of the ball against an athletic, pressing-type team. Yeah, it's North Carolina A&T, but it's a step in the right direction.
Back to that point because it needs to be hammered home. The main three scorers shot the ball at ridiculous rates. Combined, they made 21-32 shots from the field (66%), 11-18 from deep (61%), and 18-21 from the line (86%). Holy schnikes.
The team also had 18 assists on 22 made baskets, with four players getting 3 or more. They maintained those numbers while facing a press, and while pressing themselves, not to mention the fact that for a good 11 minutes of game action in the second half, the same 5 players were on the court with Edwin saddled with 4 fouls of his own.
Are the inefficient ways behind the Pirates? Probably not, but for the first time in a while, we saw the Pirates "do what they're supposed to do" against a lesser team. The reason the score was close wasn't because the Pirates didn't play well. UNC A&T just played pretty decent themselves.
- Odds and Ends
Maayan had 4 turnovers in this game, and pretty much all of them were of the head-scratching variety. Another learning experience, although he did add 4 AST.
Brian Oliver continued to struggle. 0-3 from the field, with 4 fouls and 3 AST. From what we're hearing, it's a mental thing with him at the moment. He's struggled unlike any other Pirate this season, and he's not the player that has shown up so far. Only time will tell if he can get his mental state back to normal.
Haralds Karlis did not play today because of an apparent bone bruise on his chest, according to Coach Willard in the postgame. Probably nothing serious.
Keep it locked to SOJ for all your Seton Hall Basketball needs!