Published November 09, 2012
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Fuquan Edwin didn't mind playing in Walsh Gym, Seton Hall's historic on-site facility, on Friday night.
"It's right here, right down the street from my apartment," said Edwin, who scored 16 points to pace a balanced Seton Hall scoring attack in an easy 75-36 victory over Missouri-Kansas City as part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
"We don't have to get on a bus or anything," said Edwin, who connected on 4 of 6 shots from behind the arc in the rout. "It's not something we're used to, but I could get to like it."
Seton Hall, which usually plays its home games at the Prudential Center in Newark, opened the season in Walsh Gym, the first regular-season game played there since December of 2000. It attracted a sellout crowd of 2,600.
"I'd like to play two games here at Walsh, the opener and then maybe a game during finals week," said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard. "I don't want to get away from the Prudential Center, which we love, but having a game here helps to balance things out. It's a great advantage to us."
The Pirates also received 14 points and seven rebounds from Eugene Teague and 13 points from Brian Oliver. Both players are transfers and newcomers to the Pirates' rotation: Teague from Southern Illinois and Oliver from Georgia Tech.
"It felt good," said Teague, who played in his first game in almost 18 months. "I felt a little nervous at first, but then I came on in the second half. I'm happy with the way I played. The key to the game was being more physical than they were."
Brandon Mobley added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Pirates. Seton Hall outscored the Kangaroos 41-14 in the second half. Estan Tyler led Missouri-Kansas City with 10 points.
Seton Hall went on an early 12-3 run to lead 21-11. Edwin had a steal and a layup, then hit a long 3-pointer.
Teague converted on a power move to give the Pirates a 27-13 lead with 6:10 remaining in the first half. It was Seton Hall's biggest lead of the half before blowing things wide open in the second half.
"It was only a 12-point differential at the half, but we let them take over in the second half," said Kangaroos' coach Matt Brown. "They got to every loose ball and got a lot out of our turnovers."
Willard was happy with his team's scoring balance and defense.
"I didn't think we passed the ball well in the first half, but we did a much better job moving the ball around in the second half," Willard said. "I don't care who you play. If you hold a team to under 40 points, that's pretty good."
The Pirates played two games in the National Invitation Tournament at Walsh last March. Seton Hall is now 86-14-1 in season-opening games all-time, including 12 of the last 14 seasons. The Pirates return to the Prudential Center to face Norfolk State in the Naismith Tip-Off Tournament Monday night.