Newark, N.J. – Led by 15 points from sophomore guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.), Rutgers bested Seton Hall, 56-51, Friday night at the Prudential Center. Junior Mike Poole (Queens, N.Y.) made crucial plays down the stretch for the Scarlet Knights (14-15, 5-13), adding four points and a team-best six rebounds.
Sophomore Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) added 10 points for Rutgers and Malick Kone (Conakry, Guinea) chipped in eight points and three rebounds off the bench.
Seton Hall (14-17, 3-15) had four players in double-figures, paced by Aaron Cosby with 13 points and Eugene Teague with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Senior wing Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.) made two free throws with 2:38 to play, giving the Scarlet Knights a 50-47 advantage. After a Seton Hall turnover, Poole came up with a 15-foot jumper to give RU a five-point cushion. Mack turned over SHU’s Fuquan Edwin to all but seal the game for RU.
The Scarlet Knights came out of the locker room on a mission, scoring the first seven points and ripping off a 15-3 burst to take their largest lead of the game, 38-28. Judge started the run with a hook shot in the paint and Miller ended it with a steal and a strong take to the basket.
RU scored the first five points, before SHU answered with a 16-5 run to take its largest lead of the half, 16-10. The Scarlet Knights responded, scoring 11 of the next 14 points – capped by a Seagears’ three from straight-away – to regain the lead, 21-19. The two squads would trade baskets for the remainder of the half, as the Pirates took a 25-23 advantage into the break.
Rutgers readies for the BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters. The Scarlet Knights will be the No. 11 seed and face No. 14 seed DePaul at approximately 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12.
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- Rutgers swept Seton Hall for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
- The Scarlet Knights have now won three-straight in the series with the Pirates, the longest since 1977-80 (four games).
- It marked the second time under head coach Mike Rice that the Scarlet Knights have beaten Seton Hall twice in a season.
- For the 21st time this season and 36th of his career, Myles Mack posted double-figures with 15 points.
- Mack has paced RU in scoring 10 times this season
- Mack tied his career high with five steals.
- Jerome Seagears posted 10 points, his fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season and second-straight.
- With one assist, Dane Miller moves into a tie for the No. 11 spot all-time at RU with 305 career helpers.
- Wally Judge tied a personal best with three assists.
- The contest marked the 64th meeting between the schools on the collegiate hardwood dating back to 1916, with Seton Hall holding a 35-29 advantage in victories.
- Seventeen of the last 19 meetings have been decided by six points or less or in overtime.
- In BIG EAST regular season play, SHU holds a 20-13 lead, but Rutgers has won four of the last six contests played at “The Rock.” Overall, RU is 6-15 all-time on SHU’s home floor.
- Malick Kone posted his best scoring output (eight points) since Nov. 20 vs. Boston University.
- Mike Poole paced RU in rebounds for the third time this season with six boards.
- Head coach Mike Rice went with the starting lineup of Mack, Seagears, Poole, Judge and Johnson for the fifth-consecutive game.
- Wally Judge owns the longest active starting streak at 22-straight games.
- Rutgers moves to 5-9 when less than three players post double-figures.
- Of the nine players that saw action, eight scored at least four points.
- RU moves to 7-3 in games decided by five points or less.
- When holding opponents to 59 points or less, the Scarlet Knights rise to 6-1.
Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice
Opening Statement: “I thought (there were) two things that we did better in the second half. We picked up the pressure. We didn’t have the energy or the intensity that we would have liked to start the game with. Maybe the loss to Marquette had something to do with it. So, we made them play hard. We picked it up and made them play harder by pressing. I thought our guards did a better job of not settling. We had a little more balance in the second half offensively. It feels good to win, but it feels good because there were a lot of different individuals that stepped up for Rutgers tonight. It was a very exciting, very energetic locker room after the game. That’s good to see.”
On the win: “Being in Division I for 23 years, you have seasons where you don’t do as well. (In those situations,) players are mad at the coaches, coaches are mad at the players. We don’t have that right now. They are still very much engaged. It was great to see smiling. It was great to see laughter. It was great to see them enjoy themselves. Come Sunday morning when we practice, they’ll be a little more engaged. They’ll have more energy because – whether you’re a fan, whether you’re in a men’s league, a golfer – it’s always better to win.”
On the rivalry: “You’ve been around this program, you understand what a win means. Whether it was a rivalry game, it didn’t really matter because it was a win. The way we did it – because we slept-walked through the first half – we responded and found a way.”