Led by redshirt sophomore Sterling Gibbs and senior Fuquan Edwin, the Seton Hall Pirates edged out a win over a team that they should've buried much earlier in the game.
The Golden Flashes of Kent State hit 11 of their 22 three-point attempts in an upset over Temple earlier this week, but connected on just eight of 21 from downtown Wednesday night at the Prudential Center.
Nonetheless, with junior guard Kris Brewer leading the way with a game-high 28 points, the Flashes stuck the pressure to Kevin Willard's team with a minute left in the second half.
Down by five with 30 seconds on the clock, a cold-blooded three-ball from junior guard Devareaux Manley pulled Kent State to within a bucket, 76-74. And after a quick-whistled five-second inbounding violation on SHU, Manley had chance to give his team the lead with another three-pointer but misfired.
Despite a couple of missed free throws from the normally sure-handed Pirates, Willard's team still managed to secure the win as senior Gene Teague tore down his ninth rebound on an intentionally botched foul shot from Kellon Thomas of KSU.
Seton Hall got to the line for a whopping 43 free throw attempts and connected on 32 of them (74.4 percent). With Gibbs once again cashing in from the charity stripe (12-13), SHU has now taken a mind-boggling 95 shots at the FT line through the season's first two games.
Edwin regained his shooting touch after totaling just four points in 20 minutes on opening night due to foul trouble. The NBA prospect shot 5-10 from the field while hitting three triples and grabbing five rebounds.
Junior forward Patrik Auda and senior swingman Brian Oliver were the other Pirates to score in double figures, contributing 15 and 11 points apiece. In addition to leading the team in scoring, Gibbs also contributed a game-high six dimes, while sophomore guard Tom Maayan dished out four assists in just 13 minutes.
A win is a win, so it's hard to be too critical of the now undefeated Pirates. But Saturday's matchup against Mercer will be a tough one, as the Bears took Texas to the wire and just laid a 38-point beating on Reinhardt.
Improvements on both sides of the ball need to be made, but for now, Seton Hall can enjoy its impressive 2-0 start to the 2013-14 season.