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Game 4 Preview: Rhode Island Rams vs Seton Hall Pirates

The Rhode Island Rams get right back at it today at Mohegan Sun as they take on yet another big-conference team, although this one isn’t as scary. As Rhody continues their play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, let’s have a look at their latest opponent:

Seton Hall University
Mascot: Pirates
Location: South Orange, New Jersey
Conference: Big East Conference
2011-12 Record: 21-13 (8-10) [#1 seed in NIT, lost in second round]

The Pirates are coming off a 84-73 overtime loss to the Washington Huskies at the casino yesterday, and in the long and hard-fought game, they got a little banged up in the process. With about 12 minutes left in the first half, 6’9″ Seton Hall forward Brandon Mobley left the game with a knee injury and did not return. He is not expected to play tonight either, and against a Rhody team that is limited down low, this is welcome news for the Rams. Let’s take a look at who we expect on the floor to start:

Projected Starting Lineups

Seton Hall
G: Aaron Cosby, So, #1, 6’3″, 190
G: Kyle Smyth, Sr, #10, 6’4″, 185
F: Fuquan Edwin, Jr, #23, 6’6″, 205
F: Patrik Auda, Jr, #33, 6’9″, 225
C: Gene Teague, Jr, #21, 6’9″, 290

Rhode Island
G: Mike Powell, So, #1, 5’11″, 175
G: Xavier Munford, Jr, #5, 6’2″, 180
G: Andre Malone, Sr, #12, 6’6″, 210
F: Nikola Malesevic, Sr, #23, 6’7″, 200
F: Ryan Brooks, Sr, #33, 6’8″, 220

Auda slides into the starting role to replace Mobley, and he fared pretty well as a fill-in yesterday after Mobley went down. In 37 minutes of action, he scored nine points on 4-9 shooting and chipped in with six rebounds. The game itself was a crazy one; after Washington jumped out to a 49-33 halftime advantage, the Pirates battled back to tie the game at 71 and set it into overtime. In the extra frame, the Huskies held Seton Hall to just two points to pick up the victory.

Overall, the Hall are 2-1 on the young season, with victories over Missouri-Kansas City and Norfolk State, both part of the Tip-Off Classic. The dangerous player for the Pirates is swingman Fuquan Edwin, who poured in a game-high 27 points last night in the losing effort. On the season, he’s averaging 22 points per game on 42% shooting. He’s also shooting a ridiculous 42% from three, so Rhody needs to clamp down on him wherever he is on the court. Even with the loss of Mobley, Seton Hall still has a dangerous big man in Gene Teague. The Washington Huskies limited him to just two points yesterday, but he’s still averaging 10 points and 8 rebounds per game. Brooks/Aaman/Hare will have their hands full down low as they try to limit his production. A few more blocks from Hare wouldn’t hurt.

The extraordinary effort from Rhody yesterday won’t mean anything if they can’t build on it. the first 5-10 minutes of this game will be key to see if the Rams come out flat, or if they come out just as strong as they did yesterday. If they play well yet again, we could be looking at our first win of the season. Let’s do it – GO RHODY!

Tags: Basketball Rhode Island Rams Seton Hall Pirates

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