Seton Hall 78, NJIT 48
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)
The victory was the fourth straight for the Pirates (7-1), who are in the middle of a span where they play six straight home games. NJIT (3-5) lost for the second straight time to a Big East foe. The Highlanders dropped an 84-44 decision to Georgetown on Saturday.
After a closely contested first half in which there were five lead changes, four ties and Seton Hall led by only two (34-32), the Pirates put the game away. In the opening stages of the second half, Seton Hall went on a 16-0 run over a 4:10 span. Pope had eight points during that stretch.
Aaron Cosby added 12 points and Patrick Auda and Jordan Theodore scored 11 each for the Pirates. Theodore also had a career-high 11 assists.
Isaiah Wilkerson scored 13 points to pace NJIT, which shot a dismal 4-for-24 (16 percent) in the second half.
The Pirates outscored the Highlanders, 30-2, through the first 12 minutes of the second half.
Once again, the Pirates struggled in the early going at home, as NJIT almost matched the Pirates point-for-point in the first half. The Highlanders scored six straight points during one stretch to take a 22-19 lead with 8:31 remaining in the half. Sean McCarthy, who had scored only six points in the previous seven games, scored six points during a four-minute stretch of the first half.
The two teams traded leads four times over the final 6 minutes of the half, with Seton Hall gaining a 34-32 halftime lead on two free throws from Pope.
After Wilkerson tied the score at 36-36 with 19:08 remaining, the Pirates then exploded for the 16-0 run. Pope's driving basket gave the Pirates the lead for good with 18:38 left at 38-36.
Pope's slam on an alley-oop pass from Jordan Theodore capped the 16-0 run, but gave the Highlanders their only chance to score over a 12:17 span, when Pope was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Ryan Woods broke the run with two free throws after the technical.
But the Pirates continued the pressure by going on another 13-0 run, with Auda and Cosby scoring four each in the run. Theodore's long jumper gave the Pirates an insurmountable 65-38 lead.