Seton Hall (11-2) at DePaul (9-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Allstate Arena (9,000) -- Rosemont, Illinois. Television: SNY, BIG EAST Network. Home Record: Seton Hall 8-0, DePaul 6-2. Away Record: Seton Hall 2-1, DePaul 3-0. Neutral Record: Seton Hall 1-1, DePaul 0-2. Conference Record: Seton Hall 0-0, DePaul 0-0. Series Record: Seton Hall leads, 8-3.
GAME NOTES: The Seton Hall Pirates look to carry their momentum into conference action as they visit Allstate Arena to take on the DePaul Blue Demons in the Big East opener for both sides.
Seton Hall won for the sixth time in a row on Friday when it clipped Stony Brook, 60-59, after trailing late in the contest. The team is 2-1 in away games thanks to a loss at LSU (72-67) and victories over Wake Forest (71-67) and Long Island (89-58). Coach Kevin Willard's Pirates knocked off Wake Forest on the road during its winning streak, during which they are averaging 74 points per game, while allowing just 61.7 ppg.
Oliver Purnell's Blue Demons had their seven-game winning streak snapped on Friday when they were defeated, 69-61, by Loyola-Chicago. DePaul notched notable victories over Milwaukee (84-50), Arizona State (78-61), and Auburn (80-76) during its winning streak. The team is very tough on its home floor with just two losses in eight Allstate Arena games. The Blue Demons are a decent team on the offensive end, averaging 74.7 ppg. They have limited their opponents to 66.5 ppg on 41.2 percent shooting from the floor.
This will be the 12th meeting between these schools in history. Seton Hall owns an 8-3 all-time series lead and has won five of the past six encounters.
The Pirates looked to be in control early on their last time out as they knocked down 7-of-13 attempts from 3-point range to build a 38-31 lead heading into halftime. They went ice cold after the break to hit just 20.8 percent from the field including only 2-of-13 from beyond the arc. A 10-of-12 performance at the free throw line in the second half helped Seton Hall keep its winning streak alive. Brandon Mobley recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Eugene Teague netted a team-best 14 points. Fuquan Edwin is pacing the team with 18.2 points and 2.5 steals per game. Teague (12.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg), Aaron Cosby (11.1 ppg) and Mobley (9.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg) are all key for the Pirates as well.
DePaul had the hot hand early on with a .538 field goal percentage in the first half versus the Ramblers, but it shot just 34.5 percent from the floor in the final seconds to suffer a loss to its intrastate rival. Cleveland Melvin had his streak of double-digit scoring outings end at 26, as he produced just seven points and eight rebounds. The junior forward is still entering Wednesday's action with impressive team-leading averages of 17.1 points and 8.0 rebounds. Junior guard Brandon Young is a key contributor from the backcourt with 16.2 points and 4.5 assists per game.
Neither of these teams are expected to be serious contenders for the Big East crown, which gives them both a great opportunity to make a statement in the opener against one another. The Blue Demons are going to be tough to beat if the Melvin and Young one-two punch has a usual performance, but Edwin should be able to bounce back after a disappointing showing in his 2012 finale.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: DePaul 68, Seton Hall 64
01/02 10:33:21 ET