Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Rutgers at Seton Hall, WBB

by Ray Floriani
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Rutgers will enter the Big East Tournament later this week with momentum. The Scarlet Knights defeated Seton Hall 71-47 in a Big east Women's basketball game at Walsh Gym on Monday. The pace and possessions:

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Rutgers entered with a 92 offensive efficiency in their Big East games. Obviously this was one of their better performances on that end. Defense was excellent as the scarlet Knights outdid their 85 average in the defensive efficiency. The Four Factors:

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Up until tonight Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan was pleased with the Pirates' direction. Especially competing hard the latter weeks without leading scorer and rebounded Kandice Green, sidelined with an ankle injury against Notre Dame back on February 8th. Tonight, Donovan felt, the pirates "took a step back."

Rutgers shot the ball very well and utilized their size for a 26-16 advantage on points in the paint. That height advantage also translated into winning the boards (35-23 overall) and getting to the line more frequently.

Overall Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer was pleased with the offensive effort. Except for one area, turnovers. Rutgers' To rate was extremely high and Stringer was concerned they committed 19 turnovers. As the veteran mentor noted, the turnovers did not have an effect tonight but could in a one or two possession contest.

Seton Hall relied a great deal on the trey. Of their field goal attempts, 36% of the Hall's were from beyond the arc. Not many connected at they shot 4 of 19 (21%).

Hall trailed 30-20 at the half. They had a chance to come out and reduce that deficit but failed to do so. Over the first four minutes of the second half, four of Rutgers six possessions came up empty. There was a defensive stop by the Hall plus two turnovers and a shot clock violation. Still, the visitors actually added two points to their lead and for the Pirates it was an opportunity lost.

Game action Seton Hall-Rutgers
at Walsh Gymnasium

Opening 8 minutes saw the teams even, with the score tied at 9, in a less than artistic showing. The numbers:

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TO rates were 47% for Rutgers and 29% on the part of Seton Hall. We said the start wasn't pretty.

Flag man in the background before the 'demise'

April Sykes proved to be a difference maker. The 6 foot Rutgers swingman led all scorers with 25 points. Sykes was effective in the paint as well as out on the perimeter. She shot 11 of 17 from the field, including 3 of 7 beyond the arc. Her size proved to be a matchup nightmare for the Hall. "We zoned her and played her man," Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan said. "She (Sykes) is very versatile and had the ability to shoot over our defenders no matter which one we played (on her)." Chelsea Lee, Rutgers' 6-2 junior forward, added 16 points, 7 rebounds. Junior guard Jasmine Crew paced Seton hall with 18 points. The Manley formula results show how scoring alone can be a deceptive measure of performances:


Crew was hampered by 6 of 14 shooting from the floor, no assists and 6 turnovers. Lee on the other hand tied Sykes thanks to her 5 of 7 shooting from the floor and 7 rebounds.

Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan
during her radio post game press conference
aired over the PA system at Walsh

Seton Hall is 1-15 in the Big East and 8-21 overall. The Pirates are the final seed in the Big east Tournament. Rutgers improved to 11-5 and 18-11 overall. By virtue of Marquette and Louisville losing, the Scarlet Knights earned the four seed. Usually the double bye is not too eagerly accepted by coaches. C. Vivan stringer welcomes it and the few extra days of rest given Rutgers small, in numbers, rotation. After about two laps, the flag slowly came down the mast, covering flagman that spelled a surprising and early end to the laps. It was that kind of night for Seton Hall.

April Syves and C. Vivian Stringer meet the media

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