By Julie Parise, CBSNewYork.com
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the better part of two halves, the bright spot in the opening game of the 2013 Big East Tournament was USF’s bright yellow Adidas kicks.
Then Fuquan Edwin showed up.
The Seton Hall Pirates (15-17) waited until the final minute of regulation to make it interesting — the team hadn’t even scored 30 points with just under three minutes left in the second half — but the young men from South Orange rallied in overtime to a 46-42 victory over the South Florida Bulls (12-19).
Fans watching the game — and there weren’t many at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night — were likely surprised at the outcome, as USF held a lead for most of the sluggish game.
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard wasn’t.
“These guys have battled all year long,” Willard said. “We’ve had seven guys, six guys, every game in this league. It’s tough for these guys.”
After the game, the coach credited Edwin with being the driving force in the 8-0 run at the end of regulation.
“He can play 40-plus minutes and still go, (and) I think he still had a little juice left in it,” Willard said. “He wanted the ball in the last play, and he made a great play.”
USF Coach Stan Heath also credited Edwin, calling him one of the most underrated players in the league.
Both teams struggled offensively during one of the lowest-scoring games in Big East Tournament history, second only to Georgetown’s 46-41 first-round victory over Villanova in 2003.
Heath called it a tough way to end the season.
“We took way too many three point shots, especially in overtime,” he said. “We’re not a great three-point shooting team, so I don’t know why we went to that as our way to finish. But we finished strong.”
Zach LeDay had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulls.
Seton Hall will face No. 19 Syracuse in the second round of the tournament on Wednesday afternoon.