Lafayette (4-6) at Seton Hall (8-4)

The Sports NetworkDecember 27, 2013 

GAME NOTES: The Seton Hall Pirates close out a four-game homestand on Friday evening, as they welcome the Lafayette Leopards to Walsh Gymnasium for a non- conference clash.

The Pirates are an impressive 8-4 on the season heading into their last game before Big East action begins. Kevin Willard's squad has won four of its last five games, including a 92-70 rout of Eastern Washington last weekend. The lone loss during that span was an 83-80 overtime setback to Saint Peter's.

It has been a season of streaks for the Leopards, who opened with five straight losses, before posting four consecutive wins. Lafayette's win streak however, was halted last time out, with a 65-62 loss at St. Francis Brooklyn.

This series is tied at 9-9, but this is just the second meeting in the last 40 years.

The Leopards shot 52.4 percent from the floor in the first half against St. Francis, but held just a four-point lead at the half. The team cooled off substantially over the final 20 minutes at a 38.1 percent clip and fell in the final second on a 3-pointer by St. Francis. The loss spoiled a tremendous performance by Bryce Scott, who finished 10-of-17 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the free-throw line to post a career-high 35 points. The team played its first game without leading scorer Seth Hinrichs, who is out with a sprained knee.

Hinrichs has been a big part of the Lafayette offense this season, accounting for 20.2 ppg, thanks to a lethal .472 accuracy from behind the arc (25-of-53) Scott can fill it up from long range as well (22-of-55) and is responsible for 16.7 ppg. Dan Trist (12.3 ppg), Nick Lindner (11.1 ppg) and Joey Ptasinski (10.3 ppg) round out the top scoring threats for the Leopards, who are averaging 76.7 ppg.

The Pirates have plenty of firepower to contend with just about any team they face. Seton Hall enters this contest averaging an impressive 78.0 ppg. Sterling Gibbs headlines the scoring depth for Seton Hall at 16.1 ppg. However, he is also nursing an injury (knee), though he is listed as probable for this game. Fuquan Edwin is next in the scoring column at 13.8 ppg, followed by Brian Oliver (11.8 ppg), Patrik Auda (11.0 ppg) and Eugene Teague (10.2 ppg). Teague is also the team's top rebounder at 9.3 rpg.

In the 92-point eruption against Eastern Washington, Seton Hall connected on a sizzling 56.9 percent from the floor, as six Pirates finished in double figures. Oliver and Teague led the charge with 16 points apiece. Jaren Sina and Edwin added 14 points each, while Brandon Mobley added 11 and Haralds Karis finished with 10.

The Leopards will be missing a key piece to their offensive arsenal, not a good thing with the explosive Pirates on deck.

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