Seton Hall (3-2) vs. Virginia Tech (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Barclays Center (18,103) -- Brooklyn, New York. Television: TruTV. Home Record: SHU 3-0, VT 0-0. Away Record: SHU 0-1, VT 3-1. Neutral Record: SHU 0-1, VT 0-1. Conference Record: SHU 0-0, VT 0-0. Series Record: Seton Hall leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: The Seton Hall Pirates and Virginia Tech Hokies will both try to leave Brooklyn victorious as they square off in the consolation final of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center.
Seton Hall entered it semifinals bout versus Oklahoma with a 3-1 record after coasting to an 82-66 decision over Monmouth on Monday. The Pirates suffered their second loss of the 2013-14 campaign as the fell to the Sooners, 86-85, after Oklahoma used a 7-0 run over the final 43 seconds to steal the contest. Seton Hall had a chance on its final possession, but Brian Oliver's 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell off the mark. The Pirates lost despite an impressive, 30-of-35 showing at the free-throw line in the contest.
Virginia Tech also went into Friday's action with a 3-1 record after notching three straight victories over West Virginia (87-82), Western Carolina (79-61) and VMI (105-92). The Hokies were overmatched by No. 1 Michigan State and were defeated, 96-77, by the Spartans in their semifinal tilt. Virginia Tech committed 17 turnovers, which MSU converted into 19 points. The team made only 12-of-34 shots from inside the 3-point line, but knocked down 13-of-27 from beyond the arc to prevent the Spartans from running off to an even more decisive victory.
Seton Hall is 4-2 versus Virginia Tech in history. This will be the first meeting between the schools since Jan. 2, 2010. The Hokies won the most recent meeting, 103-94, in overtime behind a 41-point performance by Dorendo Hudson in Cancun, Mexico.
In its loss to the Sooners, Seton Hall was led by a 26-point performance from Sterling Gibbs. The Texas transfer knocked down all but three of his 20 attempts at the free-throw line and added five assists in the setback. Brian Oliver accounted for 19 points, Fuquan Edwin added 12, while Brandon Mobley and Eugene Teague recorded 10 points each. Teague had nine rebounds and Mobley grabbed eight. Gibbs has been exception in his first season with the team en route to averages of 18.8 points and 4.5 assists per outing. Edwin has posted 14.6 ppg and is the only player on the team to start all five games.
The Hokies received 27 points from UNC Wilmington transfer Adam Smith and 23 more from Jarell Eddie against MSU. Eddie was 6-for-9 on 3-pointers but Virginia Tech shot just 41 percent from the field. The Hokies had trouble applying defensive pressure which resulted in only four steals and six MSU turnovers. Eddie is pacing the team with 17.8 ppg while Smith is second at 14 ppg. Ben Emelogu and C.J. Barksdale are netting 13.6 and 12 ppg, respectively.
Virginia Tech is going to have trouble against major conference teams if it cannot find a way to protect the rim. The Pirates have some talented big men and capable shooters surrounding them on the perimeter. The Hokies will have to give them different looks and sporadically double team Seton Hall's post players, because they cannot afford to let Gibbs get too comfortable beyond the arc or he will bury them single-handedly.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seton Hall 75, Virginia Tech 69
11/23 10:34:24 ET