Piscataway, N.J. – Rutgers (12-10, 3-8) welcomes Garden State foe Seton Hall (13-11, 2-9) to the RAC on Tuesday (Feb. 12) evening for round one of the annual “Turnpike Tussle” between the two longtime rivals. Fans and students are encouraged to wear red to the contest, which tips-off at 7 p.m. The Scarlet Knights will be working to snap a six game skid, which includes losses to four nationally-ranked opponents, while the Pirates will be looking to end a string of five consecutive defeats. RU makes a return visit to the Prudential Center in the regular season finale on March 8.
Fans have the opportunity to purchase $45 200 level tickets for just $30 and $25 300 level for only $10 by utilizing the promo code SETON13. In addition, D.J. Yoshi returns to supplement the pre-game and in-game soundtrack. Attending students will have the opportunity to win prizes, including an iPad mini and a Brother Jimmy’s gift certificate.
The game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPN2 and via the web at WatchESPN.com with John Saunders calling the action and Dereck Whittenburg providing the analysis. The Scarlet Knights are 2-0 this season on “the deuce” with wins over Pittsburgh and USF. On the radio, the contest will be broadcast live on the Rutgers Radio Network, WOR 710 AM in New York and WCTC 1450 AM in New Brunswick, as well as on Sirius 92 and XM 199. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the game.
Tuesday evening’s contest marks the 63rd meeting between the schools on the collegiate hardwood dating back to 1916, with Seton Hall holding a 35-27 advantage in victories. Fifteen of the last 17 meetings have been decided by six points or less or in overtime. The teams have split the series in each of the last two seasons by winning on the opponents’ home floor. Rutgers is 15-15 all-time at home versus the Pirates. In the last meeting, Rutgers edged Seton Hall 77-72 in overtime at the Prudential Center last season in a game that featured 18 lead changes and nine ties. Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.) posted 21 points and 10 rebounds, but it was Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) that hit a go-ahead three pointer with 15 seconds to play in the extra period to seal the victory.
Rutgers is coming off a hard-fought 69-63 home loss to No. 20/21 Georgetown on Saturday afternoon in a contest that had 14 lead changes and 11 ties. Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) scored a game-high 23 points and fellow sophomore guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) contributed nine, but the Hoyas prevailed thanks to 57.4 percent shooting. The Scarlet Knights grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and committed just eight turnovers, but had only 10 second chance points.
Mack leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (.940), while also placing third in three-point field goal percentage (.462), sixth in steals (1.9) and 10th in field goal percentage (.503). He is first among the league’s guards in field goal percentage. Mack would be third nationally in free throw percentage, but is just shy of qualifying for the rankings. Carter is second in the BIG EAST free throw percentage (.889), while ranking 15th nationally, and 10th in the BIG EAST scoring (15.5). In conference only games, Seagears leads the BIG EAST in three-point field goal percentage (.472).
Seton Hall, under the leadership of second-year head coach Kevin Willard, suffered a 78-67 home loss to UConn on Sunday afternoon. The Huskies shot 54.2 percent and made 21 of 23 free throw attempts. Aaron Cosby made 10-of-15 field goal attempts to post 25 points for the Pirates, while Fuquan Edwin added 19 points. Edwin ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.0), second in steals (2.6) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.423). The Pirates lead the BIG EAST in three-point field goals made per game, with 7.8 per contest.