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Full Court Press: Pirates invade The Dunk

USA Today

USA Today


The Seton Hall Pirates and Providence Friars will get after it Saturday in front of a sold-out and boisterous Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI.

The game has huge consequences for both teams as they look to keep pace with the league-leading Villanova Wildcats (15-2, 5-0 Big East).

For the Pirates (12-4, 2-2 Big East) they will be looking to end a two-game conference losing streak (72-63 ‘Nova, 85-67 Creighton).

A win is a must if the Pirates expect to remain in the Big East regular season title picture.

For the No. 12 ranked Friars (15-2, 3-1 Big East) and their highly-touted Player of the Year candidate, Kris Dunn (New London, Ct), along with the Big East’s leading scorer Ben Bentil (19.1ppg), they are entering the contest having eked out an ugly 50-48 win over Creighton on Dunn’s buzzer beater.

Seton Hall is led by their dynamic guard, sophomore Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, NY/Abraham Lincoln), who is averaging 15.1 points per game.

If both bring their ‘A” game to The Dunk, the Dunn versus Whitehead matchup should be a real gem.
The game could boil down to defense AND which team wins the battle on the boards.

Both teams sport aggressive defenses’ and love to pound the glass so you can expect a lot of whistles by the guys in white and black stripes.

The tale of the tape indicates both teams are evenly matched statistically, however, if late game foul shooting is a factor, the Friars have the advantage from the foul stripe (71.1% vs 64.8%).

The game will mark the 98th meeting between the two schools, with the Friars leading, 51-46.

In their last meeting on March 4, 2015, the Friars won, 79-66, at the Pru Center in Newark.
The Big East contest will be televised on FoxSports1 (4:30 p.m. tip) with Justin Kutcher and Tarik Turner on the call.

Yopu can listen in on AM970, THE ANSWER, with Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin.

Thanks Coach!

Boston College senior Steve Perpiglia (Broomall, PA/Malvern Prep) received a surprise Christmas present from BC Coach Jim Christian.

The senior walk-on was awarded a final semester scholarship by Christian.

Nice gesture by Christian (Bethpage, NY/St. Dominic HS), who is in the midst of a rough second season at the Eagles helm.
A little of this and a little of that
How about that shootout last night in the MAAC between Rider (5-12, 1-5 MAAC) and Marist (4-11, 1-5 MAAC) with the Broncs winning in double overtime, 102-100!

Rider’s fifth year graduate transfer, Teddy Okereafor (London, England/VCU), poured in 38 points while making 25 points from the foul line, which set a new MAAC record.

Marist’s Khallid Hart hit for 36 points in a losing effort.

Coach Kevin Baggett’s Broncs get a shot at league-leading Iona, Sunday at 4 p.m.

Coach King Rice and his Monmouth Hawks (12-4, 4-1 MAAC) invade the Hynes Center (New Rochelle) this evening looking to knock off the league-leading Iona Gaels (9-6, 6-0).

The Hawks are led by Justin Robinson (20.1ppg) while AJ English has been scoring at a 23.3 ppg clip for the Gaels.

Last year the two teams split a pair of regular season games. It will be hotly-contested with the game likely to go down to the wire. What do you expect, it’s the MAAC! The game will be televised on ESPNU with a 9 p.m. tip.

Last night the Hofstra Pride’s Juan’ya Green dropped in 25 points to become the third active player in Division 1 to have more than 2000 career points while leading the Pride (12-5, 4-1 CAA) to a 69-61 win over CAA foe Drexel. Green joins DJ Balentine (Evansville) and John Brown (High Point) in the exclusive scoring club active D1 players. Hofstra hosts JMU (13-5, 3-2 CAA), Sunday at 4 p.m.

UCONN continues their inconsistent play as they failed to hold a road lead in losing to Coach Frank Haith (infraction clouds hanging over his head from previous stint at Missouri) and Tulsa, 60-51, last night in Tulsa. The Huskies (11-5, 2-2 AAC) went into an unexpected scoring drought which cost them the game, scoring just four points in the game’s final 8 minutes. Coach Kevin Ollie, who was clearly not happy with his squad’s play looking on from the bench during the nationally-televised contest, will be looking to right the ship in Houston on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Congratulations to Notre Dame’s women’s Coach Muffet McGraw who picked up her 800th career win when the Irish beat Pitt 65-55 on January 3, 2015.

McGraw is the 10th coach to reach 800 wins joining Geno Auriemma, Pat Summitt, Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith as the only coaches in men’s and women’s Division 1 history with 800 wins, seven Final Four trips and five final game appearances.

Don’t forget

The MAAC will be holding their men’s and women’s basketball championships March 3-7 at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.

Keep shooting….

Follow Bob on Twitter for all the latest in college hoop happenings, game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

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Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
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