Kevin Willard shows no mercy, chewing out walk-on Connor Laverty following his first career turnover. - US PRESSWIRE
Seton Hall welcomed Longwood to Newark this evening and the Lancers wasted little time proving they're among the worst teams in Division-I competition by handing the scorers an invalid starting lineup.
The Seton Hall (9-2) cupcake tour rolled along without missing a beat on Wednesday evening, defeating Longwood (3-9) 79-61 in front of, give-or-take, four hundred fans dispersed throughout the Prudential Center. The Pirates remained undefeated at home this season (all sub #230 ranked teams) as they put away Longwood, the nation's second worst team (according to KenPom), in tonight's opening minutes.
Early on, the Pirates looked content to sit back and launch 3-pointers against the defenseless Lancers. Seton Hall would have cruised easily playing this brand of basketball, but Kevin Willard used a couple first half timeouts to reign his team back in, surely asking his guys to stay focused against the inferior opponent. Although the 3-pointers kept falling (7-of-11 in the first half) we did see quite a few plays designed for both a slashing Fuquan Edwin and the Pirates inside presence of Eugene Teague and tonight's starter, Kevin Johnson.
Longwood wasted little time showing why Ken Pomeroy had them ranked 346 of 347 teams entering tonight's action. After providing the official scorers with the wrong names of their starting five prior to tip-off, Seton Hall and Kyle Smyth were awarded two technical free throws. I'm not sure what's worse, that Mike Gillian handed the scorers the wrong names, or that it took the officials and scorers 2:30 to catch the error. The blunder was not something I've ever seen before (in basketball), and not something I expect to see again. Way to go, Longwood, keep setting yourselves apart from the rest of Division-1 basketball. If nothing else, it was one of the few entertaining moments of tonight's action.
As we've seen so often this year, Fuquan Edwin (19 pts, 7-of-10) dominated the game offensively from start to finish and it was refreshing to see Brian Oliver (13pts/4ast/4reb 3-of-9 3pt) in a role the Pirate faithful expected when he announced his transfer-in. Freshman Kevin Johnson received his first career start at center and finished the night with 11pts/8reb (5-of-6 fg), though most of his stat-stuffing came in second half garbage time, opposed to the first half garbage time. Senior walk-on, Connor Laverty logged the first (and likely, only) minutes of his Seton Hall career, but KJ selfishly kept the ball away from him as he put up field goal attempt after field goal attempt of his own. Of course, that last sentence is in complete jest. Keep shooting Big Fella! That's about where this one ends for the individual accolades, which is quite rare, when facing the worst of the worst.
Seton Hall is back in action Saturday at the Barclay's Center, where they'll attempt to record their 10th win of the season. Don't forget to purchase your tickets at a discounted rate in the story below.