Nutter, Laing help Seton Hall hold off South Florida 79-75
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Jamar Nutter scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half and Seton Hall survived an eight-minute drought from the field to hold off South Florida for a 79-75 victory on Tuesday night.
Brian Laing led the Pirates (17-11, 7-8 Big East) with 24 points, but he only had four in the second half when Nutter carried Seton Hall while Laing was on the bench for nearly five minutes after picking up his fourth foul.
Nutter’s 3-point play put the Pirates up 55-47 with 12:05 to go. Seton Hall didn’t make another shot from the field until John Garcia scored on a goaltending call with four minutes left, yet the Pirates never relinquished the lead.
Dominique Jones led USF (11-17, 2-13) with 31 points, however the Bulls hurt their chances down the stretch by missing open shots and going 3-for-8 from the foul line in the final four minutes.
Seton Hall, which stopped a five-game losing streak with last Saturday’s two-point victory over DePaul, made 17 of 21 free throws in the last 12 minutes, with Jeremy Hazell sinking two to put the game away in the closing seconds.
Garcia finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Eugene Harvey delivered Seton Hall’s last two field goals to finish with 10 points, including a layup off a pass from Hazell that gave the Pirates a 75-72 edge with just under a minute to go.
Laing made 10 of 18 shots after being limited to a season-low eight points on 1-for-9 shooting during the Pirates’ 10-point win over USF last month in Newark. He drew his fourth foul with 13 minutes left, but Nutter took up the slack with nine points while Laing was on the bench.
Jones, USF’s all-time leading freshman scorer, was 9-of-17 from the field and 11-for-14 from the foul line. Kentrell added 15 points, but missed a pair of free throws that would have tied the game with 15.2 seconds left.