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Saint Peter's (2-6) at Seton Hall (7-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 14, 12 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Prudential Center (18,711) -- Newark, New Jersey. Television: FSN, YES. Home Record: SPU 1-1, SHU 5-1. Away Record: SPU 1-5, SHU 1-1. Neutral Record: SPU 0-0, SHU 1-1. Conference Record: SPU 0-2, SHU 0-0. Series Record: Seton Hall leads, 61-23.

GAME NOTES: The Saint Peter's Peacocks and Seton Hall Pirates will meet for the 85th time in history on Saturday as they square off in a non-conference tilt at the Prudential Center.

Saint Peter's heads to Newark on a three-game slide after dropping an 82-67 decision at Canisius and losing, 61-57, at Niagara in its inaugural Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contests of the season. The Peacocks are 1-5 on the road and 2-6 overall. Coach John Dunne's team is averaging only 65.2 points per game, which is over four points less than its scoring defense average. The Peacocks have been held to 70 or fewer points in their last seven outings.

Kevin Willard's Pirates bounced back from their shocking loss to Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 1 with three wins in a row over LIU Brooklyn, Rutgers and NJIT. Seton Hall is 5-1 at the Prudential Center, where it will host Eastern Washington and Lafayette before beginning Big East play at Providence on New Year's Eve. The Pirates are one of the weakest defensive teams in their conference with an allowed average of 70.9 ppg, but they are fourth in the 10- team league in scoring at 76.4 ppg. Seton Hall started last season with 11 wins through its first 13 games before finishing 15-18 overall.

Seton Hall is 61-23 versus Saint Peter's in history. The Pirates have won the last 17 games between the Garden State rivals. The Peacocks suffered a 76-61 setback at the Prudential Center on Nov. 25, 2012 in the most recent encounter.

Saint Peter's has not been successful through its first eight games despite the excellent play of junior forward Marvin Dominique, who registered his second consecutive double-double versus Niagara with 10 points and 16 rebounds. The 6-foot-7 Fordham transfer is nearly averaging a double-double with 18.1 points and 9.6 boards per game. Although junior guard Desi Washington is chipping in 11 ppg, he is making only 37 percent of his shots from the floor. No other Peacock is close to a double-digit scoring average. Saint Peter's is not taking care of its possessions either as it is second to last in the MAAC with a -3.1 turnover margin.

Seton Hall's top defensive player and senior leader, Fuquan Edwin, was injured in the first minute of the team's game versus LIU Brooklyn and has not played since. The Pirates have used a group effort to thrive without Edwin, as four players have scored in double figures in each of the last three games. Willard's forwards were dominant against the Highlanders, as Brandon Mobley spearheaded the charge against NJIT with 18 points and 6-9, 270-pound center Eugene Teague recorded a double-double with 11 points and 14 boards. Seton Hall's backcourt is much better this season due to a pair of new additions. Freshman guard Jaren Sina and Texas transfer Sterling Gibbs have both made an immediate impact and combined for 33 points in the team's last outing. Gibbs is ranked 11th in the Big East in scoring at 16 ppg, which is the third highest mark among underclassmen in the conference.

Although Edwin will not be in the lineup and Seton Hall was recently upset by FDU, Saint Peter's has a very slim chance of ending its losing ways to the Big East program. The Peacocks' offensive reliance on Dominique is not going to be effective against the Pirates, who have an interior enforcer in Teague along with the athletic 6-9 Mobley to counter SPU's star.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seton Hall 76, Saint Peter's 64

12/14 10:38:01 ET

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