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Hoop Group Tip-Off: Columbia hangs with talented, but inexperienced Seton Hall Prep

What stands as probably the best rivalry in NJ’s SEC conference over the years has been moved as part of the Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic every year for the last 12. The teams are located in West Orange and South Orange, respectively, and the neighboring towns are separated by just three miles.

Seton Hall Prep and Columbia are usually the feature game of the night on Saturday especially when it was hosted by Seton Hall University in South Orange NJ. This years’ game would prove to live up to its billing as Seton Hall would get the better of its arch rival 63-52 at Caldwell University.

Seton Hall raced out to 19-10 first quarter lead led by Austin Miller and Ashton Williams contributing five points a piece.

In the 2nd quarter however, Columbia used a surge against a foul plagued Seton Hall Prep team with a relentless aggressiveness to outscore the Pony Pirates in the second quarter, 15-14, to close the gap to a 33-25.

Austin Willams scored 10 for SHP and Brandon Askew had seven in the half for the losing Cougars of Columbia.

In the 3rd Quarter, Columbia continued to hang tough with Seton Hall Prep. They could have tied or taken the lead, if they had made a few more of their free throws and layups. Columbia shot just 9-of-26 from the line for the game and it would hurt them in the long run.

Columbia kept up the intensity and cut the lead to three in the 4th quarter, led by the Askew brothers, Brandon and Briezh. They would cut the SHP lead to one at 49-48 with 4:15 to go in the game. That’s when Seton Hall Prep star freshman Jabri Abdur Rahim took over with a bucket at 2:43 in the 4th to make it 53-48 SHP. He again scored at the 1:48 mark after a steal to make it 57-48 SHP. A technical foul was also charged to Columbia for not having enough timeouts left, which pretty much sealed Columbia’s fate at 59-48 with 1:18 remaining.

Jabri Abdur Rahim hit one of two to make it 60-48 and it also gave SHP the ball. The final of the game was 63-52 SHP.

Columbia was led by Brandon Askew with 18 points and he was the teams MVP in a losing effort. For Seton Hall Prep, the MVP of the game was Jabri Abdur Rahim with 16 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks.

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