The Seton Hall Pirates escaped with a 63-61 win over the Stony Brook Seawolves during Tuesday night's opening game of the 2012 NIT Tournament. They were tabbed among the favorites in this year's NIT after going 21-12 this season and playing Louisville relatively tight in the Big East Tournament. They were dominated on the boards by the Seawolves on the boards, however, and needed to shoot exceptionally well to advance to the second round.
For the night, Stony Brook held a 42-22 rebounding advantage, recouping nearly 50 percent of their missed shots on the offensive end. Second chance points nearly made up for their 37.7 percent shooting night, including a 4-for-13 performance from leading scorer Bryan Dougher.
The Pirates shot 48.9 percent from the field, and 6-for-15 from beyond the 3-point arc to stay just ahead of the Seawolves. Seton Hall led most of the second half, but never by more than six points. Stony Brook went on a 6-2 run over the final 2:30 to draw the game close. Dougher missed a 3-pointer to win with six seconds left, however, and Tommy Benton missed the tip-in to seal the game for the Pirates.
Benton finished with a game-high 13 rebounds. Herb Pope led the Pirates with nine rebounds to go along with his 20 points. No other Seton Hall player had more than three boards, however. Jordan Theodore led all scorers with 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting, adding six assists on the night.