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Instant recap: Seton Hall knocks off Mercer 63-47

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Powered by a game-high 19 points and 9 rebounds from Brandon Mobley and 17 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and no turnovers from point guard Sterling Gibbs, Seton Hall took care of Mercer 63-47 at Prudential Center in their season-opener on Sunday.

Seton Hall got off to a quick start in a fashion that shouldn't have surprised many. Good interior defense from Angel Delgado that translated into a pair of transition baskets, something that the Hall will rely on for scoring throughout the season. Sparked by impressive ball movement and motion on offense, back-to-back Jaren Sina triples from the corner in front of Mercer's bench gave the Pirates a 15-10 advantage at the under-12 media timeout. Unlike the exhibition against Caldwell, Seton Hall's defense started to wilt midway through the first half instead of struggling from the opening tip. A 7-0 Bears run prompted a Kevin Willard timeout just prior to the the under-eight timeout with Mercer leading 22-19.

The timeout would prove critical.

Seton Hall rattled off a 16-2 run out of the timeout that included Isaiah Whitehead's first basket, a tough fadeaway jumper from Brandon Mobley, and an open look from the corner that Haralds Karlis sank at the first half buzzer to give Seton Hall a 35-24 lead.

Mercer came out of the half well to stem the rising tide of Seton Hall's run. But similar to the first, Mercer's offense failed to look potent after their first several possessions that included a fresh batch of missed open three-pointers. Following another wide-open look that the Bears failed to capitalized on, one of many smooth Brandon Mobley jump shots from distance gave Seton Hall a 44-31 lead, their largest prior to the under-12 timeout. Seton Hall was flirting with extending their lead to the mid-teens if not for an off-day from star recruit Isaiah Whitehead. After several good looks that just missed in the first half, Whitehead was blocked and then airballed his next attempt early in the second half.

While Whitehead was struggling, it was Brandon Mobley and Sterling Gibbs that shut down an 11-3 Mercer run that trimmed Seton Hall's lead to just five at 47-42. Mobley sank a three from the corner, a clutch shot that teamed up with a Sterling Gibbs and-one play in transition that kept Mercer at bay. With the lead hovering around 10 prior to the under-four timeout, Mobley then sank yet another outside shot that extended the Hall's lead to 15 and would prove to be the dagger as Seton Hall cruised from there out.