South Florida (10-7) at Seton Hall (12-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Prudential Center (18,711) -- Newark, New Jersey. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: USF 8-4. Seton Hall 8-2. Away Record: USF 2-3, Seton Hall 3-3. Neutral Record: USF 0-0, Seton Hall 1-1. Conference Record: USF 1-4, Seton Hall 0-4. Series Record: Seton Hall leads, 7-2.
GAMES NOTES: The South Florida Bulls will look to ride the momentum of their first conference victory when they square off with the Seton Hall Pirates in a Big East showdown at the Prudential Center.
After dropping their first four games in Big East action, the Bulls finally got in the win column with an impressive 61-58 victory over Georgetown. The win was the first four South Florida since a 65-56 triumph over UCF on Jan. 2. The Bulls are 10-7 overall following the victory. On the road the Bulls have managed two wins in five tries. Up next the Bulls will host No. 24 Notre Dame.
Seton Hall was topped by then No. 25 Marquette, 69-62, in its last outing. The setback was the fourth straight for the Pirates who are still in search of that first win in league play. The Pirates have a strong 12-6 mark overall mark helped primarily by their play at home where they are 8-2. Seton Hall will be on the road in its next two games against St. John's and Georgetown.
The last time these teams met South Florida was able to squeak out a 56-55 win on its home floor to earn a season split. The win was just the second all-time for the Bulls against the Pirates who lead the all-time series 7-2.
In its win over Georgetown, South Florida rode a 50-percent shooting effort in the second half, that included a 7-of-13 showing from beyond the arc, to knock off the Hoyas. The Bulls made up for their 34-23 deficit on the boards in the contest by forcing 15 turnovers while committing only five themselves.
Playing well on the defensive end has been the greatest strength for South Florida. The Bulls are letting up just 60.6 points per game, while holding teams to less than 40 percent shooting. Despite those strong efforts the Bulls have not managed to put more wins up because of lackluster showings on the offensive end. South Florida is the lowest scoring team in the conference (62.4 ppg), while ranking second to last in shooting percentage (.412) and assists (12.3 pg). The duo of Victor Rudd (11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (10.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg) has been key for the Bulls as they man the interior. Anthony Collins (9.9 ppg, 6.9 apg) seemingly runs the backcourt by himself, ranking second in the conference in assists.
Seton Hall trailed by as many as 12 points against Marquette. The Pirates shot a shade under 40 percent from the floor in the contest and had more turnovers (17) than assists (15). The turnovers really proved to be the downfall for Seton Hall as the Pirates were outscored 20-2 on points off takeaways.
Leading scorer Fuquan Edwin (17.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg) managed to get in double figures in the contest but he had just 12 points, while needing 11 shots to reach that mark. Still Edwin is normally one of the best scorers in the league thanks to his 6-foot-6 frame which makes him a matchup problem for opposing backcourts. Aaron Cosby (12.6 ppg) and Eugene Teague (12.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg) are the second and third options offensively with Teague also the second best rebounder in the Big East. All together Seton Hall is a rather pedestrian offensive team in comparison to the rest of the conference with the Pirates ranking eighth in both scoring (70.6 ppg) and field-goal percentage (.454).
In Edwin the Pirates have a more dynamic scorer than South Florida. That is bad news for the Bulls, especially on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seton Hall 66, South Florida 63
01/23 10:43:09 ET