WEST LONG BRANCH – Junior Jeremy Hazell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a game-high 26 points and sophomore Herb Pope (Aliquippa, Pa.) had 15 points and a game-high 17 rebounds as Seton Hall defeated Monmouth, 87-72, in West Long Branch, Sunday.
Hazell, who was 0-for-10 from the field in the Pirates’ season-opener against Saint Peter’s on Friday, connected on 9-of-23 shots including five three-pointers in 36 minutes of action.
With the victory, Seton Hall improves to 11-0 all-time against the Hawks. The game also marked the first time any BIG EAST team has visited the Monmouth campus for men’s basketball.
Points were difficult to come by early for both teams. After Monmouth jumped out to a 7-4 lead, Seton Hall went on a 9-2 run highlighted by a pair of three-pointers from junior Jamel Jackson ( Brooklyn, N.Y.) and grabbed the lead, 13-9, with 12:40 remaining in the first half. Jackson would finish the game with 15 points off the bench.
The Pirates would extend the lead to 16-11 on Jackson’s third three-pointer of the half, but Monmouth came charging back with a 10-2 run of their own to re-take the lead, 21-18 with 8:04 remaining in the first.
With Seton Hall trailing 25-21 with 6:15 to go in the half, the Pirates took over. Seton Hall went on an 18-2 run with the help of four straight points by freshman Ferrakohn Hall (Memphis, Tenn.), including a thunderous dunk.
Hazell was instrumental in the final moments of the first half. The small forward hit a 30-foot, three-pointer at the buzzer to send the Pirates into the locker room with a 42-29 advantage.
The Pirates had a strong offensive first half shooting 51.9% from the field and were 7-for-16 from three-point range including four made three’s from Jackson and three from Hazell. Seton Hall also out-rebounded the Hawks, 21-12. Pope led all players with nine first half rebounds.
To start the second half, Seton Hall picked up right where they left off at the end of the first half. The Pirates scored six of the first eight points scored, extending the lead to 48-31 with 17:27 remaining in regulation on another dunk by Hall. But Monmouth, a significantly improved team since Seton Hall’s 101-70 victory last year, responded. Three-pointers on back-to-back possessions by Monmouth’s Ed Waite cut the Pirates’ lead to 52-42 with 13:16 left to play.
Waite and Hazell traded buckets, but Seton Hall was able to stem the Hawks’ rally and push the Pirates’ lead back to 16 points, 66-50, with 7:22 remaining in regulation on an ally-oop dunk from Eugene Harvey (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to Hazell. From then on, Monmouth would not get closer than 14 points.
Travis Taylor led Monmouth with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Seton Hall shot a blistering 52.5% from the floor for the game, compared to 45.6% for the Hawks. The Pirates also out-rebounded Monmouth, 40-to-33.
The Pirates will return to action on Friday, November 20 when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on defending Ivy League champion Cornell. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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