(Sports Network) – The championship game of the Charleston Classic features a matchup between the Northwestern Wildcats of the Big Ten and the Seton Hall Pirates of the Big East, both of whom are 3-0 on the young season.
On Friday, the Wildcats managed to sneak by Tulsa in the semifinal round by a 69-65 final. With the exception of a clash with Baylor in early December, the remaining non-conference schedule is rather soft for Northwestern, which begins league play on December 28 at Ohio State.
The Seton Hall Pirates managed to knock off Saint Joseph’s by a 78-70 final on Friday despite surrendering 38 points to one player in that game. The Big East slate will be brutal as usual, so Seton Hall needs to rack up as many non-conference wins as possible to help its prospects come NCAA Tournament selection time.
Of the six games played between Northwestern and Seton Hall previously, the Wildcats have captured four victories.
Through three games, Northwestern has leaned heavily on the duo of John Shurna and Drew Crawford, and those two players have responded in a big way. Shurna is netting 22.3 ppg on 46.7 percent shooting from three-point range and 85.7 percent efficiency from the foul line. As for Crawford, he adds 18.7 ppg on even more accurate shooting from behind the arc and from the charity stripe. Both players are ripping down 6.0 rpg for the Wildcats, but the team is still being outrebounded by 8.3 rpg despite outscoring opponents by 11.3 ppg. Crawford poured in 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field, including 5- of-8 from three-point range, in Friday’s decision over Tulsa. Shurna struggled with his shot a bit, but he still found a way to net 15 points for the Wildcats, who only committed six turnovers while forcing 16 giveaways.
Only three players are averaging more than 6.7 ppg for Seton Hall this season, but the trio has been tremendous. Jordan Theodore tops the list with 21.0 ppg, and he is handing out 5.3 apg. Herb Pope provides 19.3 ppg and 12.3 rpg, while Fuquan Edwin contributes 15.0 ppg. Seton Hall is generating 74.0 ppg while allowing 65.0 ppg to opponents. Against Saint Joseph’s on Friday, the Pirates shot 58.3 percent from the field in the second half to battle back from a seven-point halftime deficit. Theodore posted 18 points and 10 assists, while Pope and Edwin netted 17 points apiece. Pope ripped down 10 rebounds to the surprise of no one, and Aaron Cosby added some scoring balance with a 13-point effort.