Rutgers (12-16) at Seton Hall (19-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 25th, 5:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Prudential Center (10,862) -- Newark, New Jersey. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Rutgers 10-6, Seton Hall 13-2. Away Record: Rutgers 1-8, Seton Hall 4-6. Neutral Record: Rutgers 1-2, Seton Hall 2-1. Conference Record: Rutgers 4-11, Seton Hall 8-8. Series Record: Seton Hall leads, 35-26.
GAME NOTES: Garden State rivals collide on the hardwood this afternoon in Newark, as the Pirates of Seton Hall host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a Big East bout at the Prudential Center.
It has been a hard road traveled for the Scarlet Knights as of late. The squad has dropped decisions in six straight, but has faced the likes of Notre Dame, Syracuse, and most recently, Marquette -- all nationally ranked programs -- over their last three tests. Rutgers fell 82-65 on Wednesday to No. 10 Marquette, plummeting to 12-16 overall on the season and a meager 4-11 in Big East action.
As for Seton Hall, the Pirates will be looking to register back-to-back wins, as the club earned a decisive 73-55 verdict over No. 9 Georgetown on Tuesday night. The victory pushed Seton Hall to 19-9 overall this season, and got the club to 8-8 against league opponents.
Seton Hall leads, 35-26, in terms of the all-time series between the two programs.
The Scarlet Knights shot just 42.4 percent from the field during the 17-point loss to Marquette, a mark that included just 6-of-17 from long range. Also not helping Rutgers cause was the fact that the squad was guilty of a whopping 24 giveaways that Marquette turned into 31 points during the contest, as well as the 42-34 besting the Scarlet Knights were handed in the paint. Jerome Seagears scored 14 points to lead the way for Rutgers in the loss, while Gilvydas Biruta tallied 12 points. Eli Carter added 11 points as well, while Dane Miller finished with 10 points and six rebounds. The Scarlet Knights owe a lot to their defensive play this season, which has yielded just 65.3 points per game to the opposition through 28 contests. Opponents are shooting at just a 41.7 percent clip that includes a meager 33.3 percent mark from three-point land, and the Scarlet Knights force an average of 15.8 turnovers per game. At the other end of the court, however, Rutgers has netted just 65.6 ppg this season on 42.9 percent shooting, and has struggled from both long range (32.6 percent) as well as at the foul line (69.1 percent). The club owns just two players with a double-digit scoring average, beginning with Carter and his 13.3 ppg. Myles Mack follows with a 10.0 ppg contribution, while Biruta currently rests right on the cusp of a double figure tally with his 9.8 ppg.
Jordan Theodore scored a career-high 29 points on 8-for-11 shooting, as the Pirates handed Georgetown its worst loss of the season. Theodore went a perfect 5-for-5 from downtown in addition to 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, in addition to passing out a game-high five assists. The Pirates dictated the tempo for the entire meeting, shooting at a blistering 61.0 percent clip and adding 15-of-19 at the charity stripe. The Pirates were edged out on the glass by a 26-23 margin, but the squad did force a game-high 11 turnovers. Herb Pope added 12 points and collected six rebounds in the Seton Hall win, while Fuquan Edwin and Brandon Mobley chipped in 10 points apiece. The Pirates have kept the opposition in check to the tune of just 62.9 ppg this season, a tally made possible by limiting their adversaries from the floor to a meager 41.0 percent shooting. The Pirates have forced 419 turnovers through 18 games as well, and own a slight 35.8 - 34.0 edge on the glass. At the other end of the court, Seton Hall is currently netting 68.9 ppg on a rather underwhelming 43.6 percent clip, but the squad does own three players with a double-digit scoring average. Theodore leads the way with 16.2 points to go with 6.7 assists per game, while Pope follows with a 15.3 ppg tally. Pope leads the team in rebounds as well (10.4 rpg), while Edwin rounds out the trio with his 12.8 ppg contribution.
The Scarlet Knights' tough schedule doesn't figure to look any easier tonight, as the Pirates' stingy defense should have Rutgers finding itself once again at a loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seton Hall 72, Rutgers 60
02/25 10:45:32 ET