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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Seton Hall wins, in historic(ally bad) fashion

By Kieran Darcy

Seton Hall
Seton Hall advances to face No. 5 Syracuse on Wednesday in the Big East tournament.
Seton Hall and South Florida played one of the ugliest basketball games you'll ever see Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The two teams combined for just 88 points -- the second-lowest scoring game in Big East tournament history.

But Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard and his Pirates were delighted with their 46-42 overtime victory.

"These guys have battled all year long," Willard said. "All year long, they gave great effort. Offensively, we were struggling a little bit, but I was proud the way they gave themselves opportunities to stay in the game."

This would have been the lowest-scoring game in tournament history by far, if not for the extra five minutes. Seton Hall trailed 37-29 with less than three minutes remaining, but scored the final eight points of regulation -- capped off by a Fuquan Edwin layup with 18 seconds left -- to send the game to overtime.

Edwin scored the game-winning points as well -- another layup with 55 seconds left in OT, putting the Pirates in front 44-42. South Florida had two shots to tie or take the lead in the final minute, but missed both.

Kevin Willard
Pirates head coach Kevin Willard watched his team overcome a eight-point deficit in the final three minutes of regulation to force overtime.
Edwin finished with a game-high 17 points -- 14 of them coming after halftime. The junior swingman was the team's leading scorer in the regular season (16.6 ppg), and wanted the ball down the stretch.

"Coach asked in the huddle who wants the shot, and I told him I want it," Edwin said.

"Fu has an unbelievable motor," Willard said. "He can play 40-plus minutes and still go. I think he still had a little juice left."

South Florida dominated Seton Hall on the offensive glass, 27-8. But the Bulls shot just 24.2 percent from the field (16-for-66), and 19.2 percent from beyond the arc (5-for-26).

"It's a tough way to finish our season," said South Florida coach Stan Heath, whose team finished 12-19. "We gave the game away. We certainly had an opportunity to close it out in regulation. I think the wrong guys had the ball, and some of the wrong decisions were being made."

It's been a tough season for Seton Hall (15-17) too, which has seen its roster decimated by injuries. The Pirates had lost 11 of 12, and 15 of 17, entering this game.

But now they have a postseason win to their credit -- even if it was one of the worst games in the Big East tournament's 34-year history.

Next up? A game against No. 5 seed Syracuse on Wednesday afternoon.

The Pirates won't be worried about style points in that one, either.

As forward Eugene Teague (14 points, 10 rebounds) said after the game, "A win is a win."