SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- Sterling Gibbs came off the bench to score 23 points, 17 from the foul line, in leading Seton Hall to an 83-72 victory over Niagara Saturday in the Coaches vs. Cancer series at the Prudential Center.
Antoine Mason led all scorers with 34 points for Niagara (0-1) in the foul-plagued game, which produced a total of 102 free throws attempted. Mason sank 15 of 20 free throws. Overall, Seton Hall (1-0) sank 33 of 52 fouls and Niagara made 32 of 50.It was the first game for Gibbs, a redshirt sophomore from Texas, who also had six rebounds and four assists for the Pirates. Gibbs scored seven points to fuel a 20-8 run in the second half that staked Seton Hall to a 68-52 lead with 7:56 to go.The game marked the debut for Niagara coach Chris Casey, who took over when Joe Micalich left to coach Hofstra University.In the first half, Gibbs entered at the 16:26 mark and wound up outscoring the entire Seton Hall starting lineup. Gibbs sank 10 of 14 free throws in the first half, scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds as the Pirates took a 39-34 lead into the break. Seton Hall starters Brian Oliver, Patrik Auda, Eugene Teague, Tom Maayan and Fuquan Edwin scored a total of 11 points over the first 20 minutes.Auda scored 11 points before fouling out of the game with 5:53 to go.Seton Hall freshman guard Jaren Sina scored the first points of his career when he sank a 3-pointer that handed the Pirates a 58-47 lead with 10:31 to go. Mason scored 19 points in the first half and 15 after the break to keep Niagara in it.Gibbs sank two free throws and then drove the lane and fed Brandon Mobley for a dunk to make it a 66-51 Pirate advantage.Gibbs capped his night when he drove for two points and was fouled. His subsequent free throw made it a 79-63 bulge with 2:17 showing. Mason scored 10 of the final 12 points for Niagara.
Seton Hall (33-52) and Niagara (32-50) both shot at least 50 free throws in today's matchup.
In the last 18 seasons (since 1996-97), it is the only game that ended in regulation in which both teams shot at least 50 free throws. It is the fourth game total in that time span (first since 2008-09). Each of the other three games went to at least two overtimes.