Seton Hall, Yale look to build off season-opening wins

NCAA Men's Basketball

Seton Hall welcomed its fans and students back to the Prudential Center Wednesday with a resounding win over Fairleigh Dickinson. The Pirates’ next task is facing an Ivy League favorite when Yale visits Newark, N.J., Sunday afternoon.

In a 93-49 win over FDU, the Pirates received 52 of their points from the bench. Tyrese Samuel scored a career-high 19, Bryce Aiken went for 15 and Tray Jackson added 14. Samuel also added 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Seton Hall was playing without Jared Rhoden, a preseason All-Big East first-team pick, who is recovering from a sprained right anke. His status for Sunday is unknown.

Coach Kevin Willard praised his team’s improved depth.

“I think that’s what’s nice about this roster, is the flexibility of — where we couldn’t survive an injury last year — being able to survive an injury this year,” he said.

Aiken is familiar with the Bulldogs from his time at rival Harvard, where he averaged double-digit points all four years before injuries cut his fourth season short and he received a medical redshirt. In seven games against Yale, Aiken averaged 21.6 points, including a 38-point burst in a 2019 Ivy League Tournament game.

Yale, voted the slight favorite to win the Ivy League in the preseason poll, will not be a walkover for the Pirates.

After blowing out Division III Vassar on opening night, Yale returned to the court Friday and skated to a 91-71 victory over Massachusetts. The Bulldogs shot 54.2 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from 3-point range, led by Matthue Cotton (23 points), Azar Swain (17) and Jalen Gabbidon (13).

Cotton’s 23 marked a career high. He also helped Yale shut down the Minutemen’s backcourt.

“He was tremendous,” Yale coach James Jones said. “He played hard and went after the ball. His defensive presence was also really big for us. He’s taken great pride in himself to get better (defensively).”

–Field Level Media

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