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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 10, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Prudential Center (18,711) -- Newark, New Jersey. Television: FS1. Home Record: NJIT 3-2, Seton Hall 4-1. Away Record: NJIT 3-2, Seton Hall 1-1. Neutral Record: NJIT 0-0, Seton Hall 1-1. Conference Record: NJIT 0-0, Seton Hall 0-0. Series Record: Seton Hall leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: In a matchup of Garden State foes, the Seton Hall Pirates will play host to the NJIT Highlanders in non-conference action at the Prudential Center.
NJIT is coming off a season-long five-game homestand which wrapped up with a 55-44 victory over UMass Lowell on Saturday. That victory ended a two-game slide for the Highlanders and pushed them to 6-4 overall. NJIT gets right back home in its next two games against LIU Brooklyn and Holy Cross.
Seton Hall is facing its second straight instate opponent as it played Rutgers on Sunday. The Pirates came away with a 77-71 road victory in that battle to improve to 6-3 overall. This game begins a four-game homestand for the Pirates, who face Saint Peter's next.
These teams do more than share a state, they actually share a city as each hails from Newark, New Jersey. Despite the proximity, they have met only four times with each matchup ending in a Seton Hall victory. The most recent decision came last year when the Pirates claimed a 68-59 triumph.
In its win over UMass Lowell, NJIT hit just 37.7 percent of its shots from the floor. However, the Highlanders turned up the heat defensively and held their foes to just 26-percent shooting, while forcing 15 turnovers.
On the season the Highlanders are scoring a solid 73 points per game and netting 45.8 percent of their field-goal tries. However, they own a very slim scoring margin (+1.0). Damon Lynn (18.9 ppg) is the most productive scorer on the team and at 35 minutes per game, the only player to be putting in more than 30 minutes each time out. Lynn could not find his touch against UMass Lowell as he finished with only eight points on 3-of-13 shooting. Terrence Smith (13.6 ppg, 6 rpg) is usually there to add support as the second option, but he was held to only four points on a 1-of-7 showing from the field. Tim Coleman (8.6 ppg) provided the offensive spark in the win with 13 points.
Even though starter Fuquan Edwin was sidelined with a sprained ankle, the Pirates still managed to topple Rutgers. Sterling Gibbs filled the void and poured in 27 points. Eugene Teague added a 16-point, 16-rebound double-double.
With Edwin again listed as out for this contest, Gibbs and Teague will both need to continue to play at a high level. Gibbs (16 ppg, 4.3 apg) is a fearless shooter with range as well as a willing passer. However, he has only knocked down 37.8 percent of his attempts from the floor. Brian Oliver (10.7 ppg) is a versatile contributor. Oliver has scored in double figures in five straight games, including a 26-point outburst against LIU Brooklyn. Teague (9.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg) is not normally a prolific scorer, but he can dominate on the glass and has the size to finish near the rim.
The Pirates were able to take down Rutgers without Edwin. Playing at home against an inferior NJIT squad won't prove to be any more of a challenge.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seton Hall 78, NJIT 64
12/10 10:30:22 ET