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Oliver scores 20 as Seton Hall stuns Xavier 71-62

- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Brian Oliver, Eugene Teague and Fuquan Edwin turned senior night into something very memorable at Seton Hall.

Oliver hit five 3-pointers and scored 20 points and the Pirates got big contributions from their seniors in their final home game in posting a 71-62 victory over Xavier Monday night.

Edwin and Teague added 17 points apiece in their last appearance before the home crowd as the Pirates (15-15, 6-11 Big East) completed a sweep of Xavier (20-10, 10-7) and snapped a three-game losing streak.

"It was a great senior night," said Oliver, who was 5 of 10 from long range. "We were talking before the game and said 'We have to go out with a win.' It's been frustrating all year. We know a lot of fans are frustrated and we share that frustration. But for us, to come out here for our last home game and to come out with a win, that was the biggest thing."

Seton Hall has shown at times it can play with anybody.

"I still think we can win the Big East tournament," coach Kevin Willard said. "We have come close against every team and with the way Eugene is playing now with 17 and eight rebounds, he gives us so much. I am not looking at this win as a sense of closure. We still believe we can make a run."

The game is going to hurt Xavier, which saw Semaj Christon score 24 of his career-high matching 28 points in the second half. The problem for the Musketeers was that center Matt Stainbrook hurt his left knee in the first half and his status for the rest of the season is uncertain.

An MRI was planned for Tuesday and coach Chris Mack hoped it would not reveal a major injury. Stainbrook left the locker room on crutches and could not put any weight on his leg.

"We're hopeful it's just an MCL strain, but that's just complete speculation," Mack said.

Seton Hall also got five points, six assists and seven rebounds from senior Brandon Mobley in knocking off Xavier two days after it upset then-No. 9 Creighton.

"We all know how good we are and how good we can be," Edwin said. "We just had some tough outings. That happens."

The Pirates, who led by as many as 14 points, held Xavier to 30 percent shooting, a season-low 20 points in the first half and 3-for-22 shooting from 3-point range in leading almost from start to finish.

"We had trouble shooting the entire game," Mack said. "You go 3-for-22 on a team that plays zone, the only way you are going to make up for that is doing a great job on the offensive glass and we didn't shoot the ball well or go get it well."

Christon almost single-handedly got Xavier back into the game in the second half, hitting his first seven shots. It helped cut a 13-point deficit to 57-52 when he hit two free throws with 5:24 to go.

The Musketeers trapped guard Jaren Sina in the backcourt and he fell to the floor after some contact. There was no call and the Pirates got the ball upcourt quickly with Edwin finishing with a three-point play. It ignited a 9-2 spurt and the game was basically decided.

Stainbrook came down hard on his left leg after being fouled taking a shot inside with 8:02 left in the first half. He immediately clutched his left knee and screamed in pain. He was on the floor for a couple of minutes and had to be helped to the locker room.

Isaiah Philmore hit the two free throws in place of Stainbrook, the conference's No. 2 rebounder, getting the Musketeers to within 16-14.

The Pirates took over in the final eight minutes, outscoring Xavier 16-6 with Teague dominating inside and Oliver hitting from the outside.

Teague started the run with two free throws and Oliver followed with a 3-pointer and two more free throws to push the lead to 23-14.

After Xavier made consecutive baskets, Teague scored inside, Oliver hit a 3-pointer, Teague made a free throw and Oliver made his third 3-pointer of the half for a 32-18 lead.

"They are a tough team no matter what they are in the Big East," said Philmore, who had 11 points and nine rebounds. "They are very talented. They play very hard and I felt like at the beginning we came out and we weren't ready to play. We weren't ready to go against a 2-3 zone and we couldn't hit shots from the outside or anywhere else."

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