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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / February 29.
  • Seton Hall Wins (Real) Ugly, But Advances to Face Syracuse

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    NEW YORK — Fuquan Edwin
     and Gene Teague know that their win over South Florida Tuesday night was ugly.

    Real ugly.

    Historically ugly.

    But they don’t care.

    “It was just a sluggish game from the start,” Edwin said after scoring 17 points and grabbing 6 rebounds to help will the No. 12 Pirates to a come-from-behind 46-42 OT victory over No. 13 South Florida in the first round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. “A win is a win.”

    “I mean, a win is a win,” Teague echoed after putting up 14 points and 10 boards. “I’m proud that we won and I’m ready to play Syracuse tomorrow.”

    Despite tying a Big East record for fewest points scored in a tournament game, the embattled Pirates (15-17) lived to fight another day and will now get No. 5 Syracuse on Wednesday at 2:30.

    The Orange are playing in their last Big East Tournament before heading off to the ACC next season.

    For most of two halves, Seton Hall and South Florida put on a putrid display of basketball that had fans groaning and reporters joking.

    LIU-Brooklyn scored 91 points Tuesday night in their Northeast Conference championship win over Mount St. Mary’s and these two teams combined for 88 points — the second-fewest ever in a Big East Tournament game.

    In overtime.

    Seton Hall didn’t get to 30 points until Aaron Cosby scored two of his eight points on foul shots with 2:50 remaining.

    The Pirates trailed by eight, 37-29, with about three minutes remaining and appeared headed to a first-round exit.

    But the athletic Edwin took over in the final minutes, scoring six straight points on drives to close regulation, while Teague added a huge block on Anthony Collins with the game tied at 37 in the final seconds.

    “Fu’s got an unbelievable motor,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard said. “He can play 40 minutes and still go.”

    Martino Brock missed a jumper with 1 second left that could’ve won the game for the Bulls.

    “I was just trying to get us an opportunity to win the game and send us to overtime,” Teague said of the block.

    “I’m glad he missed.”

    Seton Hall outscored USF, 9-5, in the extra period, getting a clutch 3-pointer from Cosby to start things off and four more points from Edwin.

    It has has been a difficult season for Willard and his team.

    The Pirates dropped 11 of 12 down the close of the regular season.

    They’ve lost several key players to injuries, faced questions about internal team issues and recently lost their only two recruits for next season when Aquille Carr said he would play overseas next season and Jerron Wilbut was arrested for robbery.

    But on this night they found a way to persevere and live for one more day.

    Even if it was historically ugly.

    “That’s the way we’ve been all year,” Willard said.

    “These guys have battled all year long, all year long they’ve given great effort. We’ve had seven guys, six guys every game in this league. It’s tough for these guys but I’m proud of them.”

    Now comes a date with Syracuse, and another chance to play in the last Big East Tournament as we know it.

    Said Willard: “We’re going to have to play extremly well to win.”

    Thirty-seven points in regulation probably won’t get it done.

    Photo: Star-Ledger

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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