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Previewing Providence: Seton Hall looks to build momentum on Senior Night

The Hall will see the return of leading scorer Sterling Gibbs and will honor a trio of seniors before tonight's game.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

There's no better stage for Seton Hall to mount some sort of late-season run than Senior Night.

The Pirates, fresh off a win over Creighton that stopped a six-game losing streak, host a Providence Friar team that is vying for a 2-seed in the Big East Tournament. Seton Hall has lost five of their last six against Ed Cooley's squad, who may be without a pair of forwards in starting center Carson Desrosiers and reserve Ted Bancroft.

In the three games since the teams last met, Providence won comfortably against DePaul and Marquette but lost by 28 at Villanova. Their one-two punch of LaDontae Henton and Kris Dunn were instrumental in their two wins and were held to a combined 16 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 9 turnovers in the loss to the Wildcats. Henton scored 46 points and snared 26 rebounds against DePaul and Marquette while Dunn added 37 points and 13 assists. The two Friars carried their team to a win over the Hall at the Dunk too.

Seton Hall is at full health and will receive a boost from leading scorer Sterling Gibbs after he returns from a two-game suspension that has spanned over two weeks. Although senior wing Stephane Manga has received all four starts since Jaren Sina's transfer, Haralds Karlis' career night against Creighton will surely be rewarded with more time tonight.

Three things to watch:

The reinsertion of Sterling Gibbs into the lineup. When Gibbs last played with the team against Providence in the first meeting and then Villanova, Seton Hall's cohesiveness seemed to be at a real low despite the reaffirmations from Kevin Willard that that wasn't the case. The team is playing more together over their last two games and could really benefit from Gibbs' addition if all goes smoothly between him and Isaiah Whitehead at point guard.

Brandon Mobley and Angel Delgado in the paint. It's Mobley's senior night and Delgado is coming off one of the best halves of his career while it looks like Friar center Carson Desrosiers won't be 100 percent. Freshman power forward Ben Bentil is no slouch and another freshman in Paschal Chukwu is a like-for-like replacement for Desrosiers, but perhaps Seton Hall has a little bit more of an edge here than in the first meeting. The Pirates were hampered by a plethora of Providence offensive rebounds in the first half that kept the offense from getting out in transition and will be something to keep an eye on.

Turnovers. Seton Hall turned it over 19 times, including six from Isaiah Whitehead and five from Sterling Gibbs, some of which Willard called "good turnovers". Along with the first half rebounding issues, turnovers crippled the offense's ability to get in a rhythm, especially down the stretch. That can't happen tonight.

Last 10 meetings (SHU 5-5):

Feb. 14, 2015, Providence 69, SETON HALL 62, Providence, R.I.
March 14, 2014, Providence 80, SETON HALL 74, New York, N.Y.
Feb. 28, 2014, Providence 74, SETON HALL 69, Newark, N.J.
Dec. 31, 2013, SETON HALL 81, Providence 80 (2ot), Providence, R.I.
March 5, 2013, Providence, 76, Seton Hall 66, Providence, R.I.
Jan. 13, 2013, Providence 67, Seton Hall 55, Newark, N.J.
March 6, 2012, SETON HALL 79, Providence 47, New York, N.Y.
Jan. 7, 2012, SETON HALL 66, Providence 57, Providence, R.I.
Jan. 30, 2011, SETON HALL 81, Providence 71, Newark, N.J.
March 9, 2010, SETON HALL 109, Providence 106, New York, N.Y.

KenPom says: No. 81 Seton Hall 70, No. 43 Providence 69 (50%)

Projected Providence starters:

PG - Kris Dunn
G - Junior Lomomba
G/F - LaDontae Henton
PF - Ben Bentil
C - Paschal Chukwu

When: Wednesday, 7pm
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: 970 AM
Opening line: Seton Hall +1