Kent State (2-0) at Seton Hall (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 13, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Prudential Center (10,862) -- Newark, New Jersey. Television: Fox Sports 2. Home Record: KSU 1-0, SHU 1-0. Away Record: KSU 1-0, SHU 0-0. Neutral Record: KSU 0-0, SHU 0-0. Conference Record: KSU 0-0, SHU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Kent State Golden Flashes will try to knock off another team from a major conference as they matchup with the Seton Hall Pirates at the Prudential Center on Wednesday as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
The Golden Flashes looked like they were in store for a long night in Philadelphia on Monday as they fell behind Temple by 10 points in the opening half, but they rallied back to defeat the American Athletic Conference school, 81-77, to improve to 2-0 on the season. Kent State hit 11-of-22 attempts from behind the 3-point line and committed only seven turnovers to power past the Owls. Prior to defeating Temple, Coach Rob Senderoff's squad completed an 84-48 rout of Division III foe Ohio Northern.
Coach Kevin Willard wasted no time taking advantage of improved depth, as he sent 12 different Pirates to the floor in their season-opening, 83-72, win over Niagara on Friday. Willard is hopeful Seton Hall's new additions can help the team climb back over the .500 mark after a 15-18 finish to the 2012-13 campaign. Texas transfer Sterling Gibbs made a splash in his program debut versus the Purple Eagles as he converted 17-of-23 shots at the charity stripe en route to a team-high 23 points. Seton Hall and Niagara combined to attempt 102 foul shots and commit 73 fouls.
This will be the first meeting in history between Kent State and Seton Hall.
KSU has a new leader on the floor as Central Michigan transfer Derek Jackson appears to be the new go-to-guy. The 6-foot-1 Jackson scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds at Temple on Monday, following an 18-point outing in his program debut. Junior guard Devareaux Manley also netted 17 points versus the Owls while sophomore Kellon Thomas came off the bench to provide 11 points. The 6-5 Darren Goodson contributed in a variety of ways, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Mark Henniger, who is the Golden Flashes' defensive anchor, made an impact at that end of the floor with four blocked shots.
The Pirates made over 50 percent of their two-point attempts on Friday, but went 2-of-9 from beyond the arc and also, 33-of-52 at the free-throw line. They also finished with only 11 assists to 13 turnovers, despite having a handful of talented guards. Swingman Fuquan Edwin had a rough start to his senior campaign as he converted only 2-of-10 field goal tries and played only 20 minutes due to foul trouble. Edwin was one of the elite players in the Big East last season with averages of 16.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals per tilt. Although the Pirates' senior star struggled, they got a lift from their junior forward tandem, as Brandon Mobley added 14 points and Patrik Auda chipped in 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds to pick up the slack. Auda's strong effort was a very good sign as he was making his first appearance since sustaining a season-ending injury in the fifth game of the 2012-13 season.
Kent State showed it can keep its composure and be fearless down the stretch of close games. The Pirates have a bolstered roster, but they will need time to build chemistry before they reach their maximum potential. Although it will be tough for Senderoff's squad to pull off a second straight road win, the Golden Flashes are capable of getting the job done.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 80, Seton Hall 77
11/13 10:31:42 ET