Game Preview: Seton Hall vs. Kent State

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Seton Hall will look for its second win of 2013-14 against a red-hot Kent State team on Wednesday night.

When: November 13

Time: 7 EST

Where: Newark, NJ

How to Watch: Fox Sports 2

Seton Hall University (1-0) is set to take on the unbeaten Golden Flashes of Kent State (2-0) in the Pirates’ second game of the 2013-14 season.

Seton Hall’s Outlook

Fresh off of an ugly 83-72 win over Niagra University on Saturday night, Kevin Willard and the Pirates will look to slow down a Kent State team that just stunned Temple 81-77 on Monday.

Redshirt sophomore Sterling Gibbs hit 17 free throws en route to scoring a team-high 23 off the bench, and junior Patrik Auda dropped 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Pirates on opening night.

Seton Hall took a ridiculous 52 free throws, but put the Purple Eagles on the line for 50 attempts of their own. One of the biggest stories to watch on Wednesday will be how SHU adjusts to the fact that referees are much more prone to calling hand-checks than they were a season ago.

Seniors Fuquan Edwin and Gene Teague dealt with foul trouble in the team’s opening game, combining for just nine points in 28 minutes. Edwin, who alone averaged over 16 points a game last season, should have a much bigger impact against Kent State.

While the bench scored 56 of the team’s 83 points on Wednesday, Willard will count on veterans like Edwin, Teague and junior Brandon Mobley (14 points, six boards against Niagra) to lead Seton Hall against a resilient KSU team.

Kent State’s outlook

Kent State is playing with house money. They just pulled off a huge upset against Temple University, and have the chance to steal another one against Seton Hall.

The Golden Flashes connected on an impressive 11 of their 22 attempts from beyond the arc, led by junior guard Derek Jackson’s 17 points on 6-11 shooting.

Kent State put the Owls on the line for just 19 free throw attempts, so Seton Hall will have to find ways to score outside of the charity stripe. Another thing that the Flashes have is balance—four players scored over 12 points on Wednesday.

Senior forward Darren Goodson (11.5 points, six boards a game) will be a tough matchup for Teague and Mobley in the frontcourt, but both have four inches on KSU’s leading rebounder.

With a victory, Kent State will jump out to an impressive 3-0 start with wins over two big-time schools, and remain atop the MAC East as the conference’s only unbeaten team.

Storylines

  1. Can Seton Hall stay out of foul trouble?
  2. Will Edwin be able to step up after a disappointing opening night?
  3. What will the Pirates get off the bench?

Prediction

Kent State will stay in the game because they can hit three’s and get production from several different players, but big nights from Edwin and Teague should lift Seton Hall to a 2-0 record to begin the season.

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