Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Rutgers at Seton Hall

by Ray Floriani

NEWARK, NJ - It got a little unnerving for Pirate fans but Seton Hall held off Rutgers 76-70 at the Prudential Center on Tuesday.

In a 72 possession (Rutgers 74 Seton Hall 69) game, the Efficiency and Factors:

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It’s not rocket science and the result largely came down to this. If you surrender the basketball without a shot your efficiency and chances to win will suffer. In the first half Rutgers fell behind by 18 and trailed 44-29 at the break. Examine the numbers at halftime.


The second half showed a vast improvement. Less turnovers plus more defensive stops was a very simple equation allowing the Scarlet Knights to make it a one possession game in the stretch.


Seton Hall never lost the lead. A very important point from a momentum standpoint especially when your opposition is making a serious run in your building. On two occasions the final minute, the Hall missed a one on one but Rutgers came up empty, missing several inside shots, on the opposite end.

Notes: Both Rutgers and Seton Hall had four players in double figures. Jeremy Hazell, playing with stitches in his hand, led all scorers with 25 points. Hazell had a few big treys in the stretch run to keep Rutgers at bay. Eugene Harvey, injured wrist and all, scored ten points handed out four assists and had a crucial steal in the stretch.

Mike Rosario paced Rutgers with 17 points. Rosario (7 of 20 from the floor including 2 of 10 from three) was defended and hounded by Jordan Theodore and Keon Lawrence. Dane Miller continued to impress he had six turnovers the first half, none the second and ended up with 16 points, 9 boards and 5 blocks. Hamady Ndiaye , another player continuing to get better each night, added 12 points 14 rebounds. For Rutgers: the good news - Miller is a freshman. The bad news - Ndiaye is a senior.

Rutgers an noted cut down on turnovers the second half but the damage was done. For the game Seton Hall led 23-9 in scoring off turnovers. Hall scored 16 of those points the first half.

Herb Pope committed a hard intentional foul on Miller as he went in on a dunk with a second left. No big deal, chalk it up to the rivalry, per the coaches and players. Bobby Gonzalez and Pope did comment on not allowing an opponent to dunk on the hall at the end of a game. Rutgers had a 49-37 rebounding edge including 20-13 on the offensive glass which is reflected graphically in OREB percentage totals. Rutgers shot 5 of 22 (23%) from three. Hall was 8 of 23 (34%) with Hazell 5 of 14.

Impressive comeback by Rutgers. A week earlier Scarlet Knights came from 17 down the second half to win at DePaul. On this evening they did not get the W but threw a scare into the Hall.

These two teams have a rematch at the RAC next Thursday. Rutgers is 14-14 (4-11) while Seton Hall, clinging to NCAA tournament hopes, is 16-10 (7-8).

Attendance was 9,503. Former Pirates Grant Billmeier and Terry Dehere, a 90s standout, were in attendance.

"I'm proud of our guys. Our guys had to deal with a lot of adversity To start off 0-8 (Big East) and continue to work hard is really special." - Rutgers coach Fred Hill

"When we play Rutgers or St.John's the main thing is winning. I don't care if it's by half a point" - Seton Hall Coach Bobby Gonzalez

Scoreboard at the Rock

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