NEWARK, 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 a career-high 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 foul shots and Niagara made 32 of 50.
It was the first game for Gibbs, a 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.
“We played hard, played relatively well defensively, and rebounded well. We just needed to make a few more shots in the second half,” said Casey.
Seton Hall’s bench outscored the Purple Eagles reserves by a remarkable 56-14 count. Besides Gibbs, Brandon Mobley add 14 points to the Pirates’ cause. Only one Seton Hall starter, Patrik Auda, scored in double figures. He had 11 points.
Besides Mason, Niagara got 10 points from senior forward Marcus Ware.
Niagara outrebounded the Pirates, 30-28, with freshman Ramon Snowden leading the way with 15.
Niagara never had the lead although the game was tied six times in the first half.
Seton Hall built its lead to as many as 19 points in the second half, 83-64, with 1:43 left in the game. The closest Niagara got was 44-42 early in the second half.
Mason scored 25 of his points in the second half. He hit career highs in free throws made and attempted and had six rebounds.