NEWARK, NJ – The Seton Hall Pirates won their second straight game, defeating Pittsburgh 73-66 on Sunday at the Prudential Center.
The Pirates started the game trailing the Panthers 6-2. Guard Ashton Gibbs opened the game with a made jumper, followed by baskets from forward Talib Zanna and guard Tray Woodall.
With 16:01 remaining in the first half, Pirate guard Jordan Theodore hit a 3-pointer to start an 11-2 run for the Hall. Freshman Aaron Cosby followed with back-to-back 3-pointers in 30 seconds to give the Pirates a three-point lead.
“That three he (Cosby) made against Rutgers really got his confidence going again,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “Yesterday in practice he must have made about nine threes in a row, and you could just see him, he wanted to shoot the basketball again.”
Seton Hall held the lead until 13:19 remained in the second half, when the Panthers’ Gibbs hit a jumper to give Pitt a one-point lead, 49-48. Seton Hall quickly regained the lead when Cosby hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game to make the score 51-49. Cosby had a career-high 19 points, including five 3-pointers.
“I thought the guys did a good job early of recognizing that he was making shots,” Willard said. “We made some nice passes to him, and he’s got the ability to do that on a nightly basis.”
Gibbs then hit consecutive 3-pointers of his own, sandwiched around Pirate free throws, to give Pitt a four-point lead with 9:52 to play. Forward Nasir Robinson made a layup to put the Panthers up by six points, 61-55, with 8:12 to play. However, Pitt made just one basket for the rest of the game.
With 6:40 to play, sophomore Fuquan Edwin made a jump shot from the right block, despite committing his fifth foul after releasing the ball, to start a 10-0 run for Seton Hall. Cosby followed with a quick steal and a fast-break layup to put the Hall within two, 61-59.
Then Theodore nailed a 3-pointer as the shot clock hit zero to put the Pirates in front 62-61.
“We’ve been kind of saying as a staff, it seems like we haven’t had somebody make one of those (shot clock beater) shots, and it felt really good for a guy to make one as the buzzer is going down,” Willard said. “I thought he’s (Theodore) played as good as he’s played in a long time.”
Freshman Haralds Karlis followed with a 3-pointer of his own to put the Pirates up four. Pope sealed the win for the Pirates when he scored on a give-and-go from Theodore with 40 seconds remaining to make the score 69-66.
“You want to get the ball in the position with your two best players,” Willard said. “I had a lot of confidence in Jordan (Theodore) to make the right play. He made a great bounce pass to Herb (Pope).”
Pope finished the game with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Theodore had 15 points and nine assists. Gibbs led all scorers with 26 points for Pittsburgh.
The Pirates return to action on Tuesday night when they host St. John’s. The Valentine’s Day tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Timothy LeCras is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts designed to give students real-world experience.