December 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM
NEWARK, NJ – The Seton Hall men’s basketball team’s recent battle with injuries proved costly again on Saturday. Already down two key contributors due to injury, the Pirates lost starting point guard Sterling Gibbs late in the second half, as the Hall fell to Saint Peter’s, 83-80, in overtime at the Prudential Center.
Trailing by five in the final minute, Gibbs took control of Seton Hall's comeback attempt. The Scotch Plains native hit a layup and a couple of free throws to bring the Pirates within two points. After a Saint Peter's missed free throw, Gibbs raced down the floor with a chance to tie. As he went up for a game-tying layup, he was fouled, landing awkwardly on his leg.
Gibbs had to be helped off the floor, unable to continue. Senior forward Eugene Teague made one of the two free throws.
The decimated Pirate lineup, already playing without red-shirt junior Patrik Auda and senior guard Fuquan Edwin, forced overtime a few seconds later when senior forward Brian Oliver sunk a deep three-pointer at the buzzer, but Seton Hall could not keep pace with the Peacocks in the OT, losing their third game of the year to a mid-major opponent.
“I know our top three scorers are out with injury, but I thought Brian Oliver did a good job of bouncing back,” Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said. “Eugene [Teague’s] foul trouble really hurt us in the first half. We just have to have some guys step up, that’s just the way life is.”
Oliver led the team with 26 points, including the last five tallied in OT.
During the extra session, the Pirates and Peacocks were tied four separate times. While Saint Peter’s led for a bulk of the five-minute period, Seton Hall’s freshman guard Jaren Sina nearly forced a second overtime, but his half court shot caromed off the backboard in the game’s final seconds.
Seton Hall led by as many as 10 points in the first half, however they saw the lead evaporate to nothing at halftime.
Tied at 26 following the break, both sides nearly doubled their first half scoring in the second. Led by Saint Peter’s Desi Washington, who poured in 34 points, the Pirates had no answer for the Peacocks in the second half.
The Jersey City squad shot 60 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes, including a shocking 4-for-5 from deep, leading the Peacocks to their first victory over Seton Hall since 1995.
“Yeah we’ll bounce back,” Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said. “We bounced back last time. Hopefully we can get Patrik back by Providence, get Fuquan back sometime hopefully soon.”
Seton Hall had played four games in 10 days following the loss to Saint Peter’s. They will host Eastern Washington at Prudential Center on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.