PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) shot 7-of-15 and 3-of-6 from behind the arc to score 20 points, but it was not enough, as Rutgers (4-6) dropped a 77-71 decision to rival Seton Hall (6-3) Sunday evening at the RAC. The Pirates scored the game’s final five points to secure the victory in the 65th meeting between the Garden State foes.
Junior guard Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.), senior forward J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y.) and redshirt junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) joined Mack in double figures. Seagears scored 18 points, Moore shot 4-of-8 to post 13 points and Jack added 10 points, while also grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.
The Scarlet Knights helped to force 20 Seton Hall turnovers, which resulted in a 25-11 advantage in points off miscues. The Pirates had the better shooting hand, however. SHU made 47.9 percent (23-of-48) of its field goal attempts, including 50 percent (11-of-22) in the second half. RU shot 38.7 percent (24-of-62) on the evening.
Seton Hall jumped-out to a 7-2 advantage and led for the majority of the opening half. The home squad took its first lead, 28-26, on a Jack dunk to cap an 11-2 run. RU held a 31-30 edge before the Pirates scored seven of the opening half’s final nine points to take a 37-33 lead into the locker room at the midpoint.
SHU extended its advantage to 12 points in the early stages of the second half, but RU remained persistent. Trailing 72-61 after the game’s final media timeout, the Scarlet Knights utilized a 10-0 burst, capped by a Moore slam dunk, to get within one (72-71) with a little over one minute remaining. Unfortunately for the RU faithful it would be the final points of the evening for the home squad.
Seton Hall won the battle on the boards, 38-31. SHU big man Gene Teague, who earned the Joe Calabrese Player of the Game Award, spearheaded the effort by grabbing 16 boards, while also contributing 16 points.
Rutgers returns to the hardwood on Wednesday (Dec. 11) to host yet another Jersey rival, Princeton, in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. The game will be available live on the web via ESPN3. It will be “Dollar Dog Night” at the RAC for the contest against the Tigers.
- Seton Hall now leads the all-time series 36-29. Tonight’s SHU win snapped a three-game series winning streak for the Scarlet Knights. RU is 16-16 all-time at home versus the Pirates.
- 18 of the last 20 games in the series have been decided by six point or less or in overtime.
- RU had four players score in double figures for the seventh time this season: Mack (20), Seagears (18), Moore (13) and Jack (13).
- Junior forward Kadeem Jack recorded double-digit points for the ninth time in nine games played this season, scoring 10 tonight.
- Junior guard Myles Mack scored 20 points, the 10th 20-plus scoring game of his career and third this season.
- Overall, Jack has scored in double digits 10 times in his last 10 games, dating back to the game vs. Notre Dame on March 13, 2013 of last season when he tallied 10 points.
- Jack has now scored in double figures 14 times in his career.
- In the first half, Jack posted his team-high ninth dunk of the season.
- Jack also blocked two shots, and now leads the team with 14 on the season. He has 11 career games with multi-block games.
- Mack posted three 3-pointers on the night, his 39th game with multiple 3-pointers in his career in 73 games played.
- Junior guard Jerome Seagears scored 18 points, his 20th time in double-figures in his career and fourth this season.
- Senior J.J. Moore scored 13 points, his 31st time in double figures in his career and eighth this season.
- Redshirt senior forward Wally Judge notched two blocks, giving him eight this season, second best on the team. He has 11 multi-block games in his career.
- Freshman forward Junior Etou posted a block in the game, his third-straight game with at least one block.
- Junior forward Kadeem Jack scored the first points for the Scarlet Knights. Five different players have registered the first points for RU through eight games – Seagears, Jack, Mack, Moore and Judge.
- Junior forward Craig Brown made the first start of his career.
- Eddie Jordan went with the starting lineup of forward Craig Brown, guard D’Von Campbell, forward Wally Judge, forward Kadeem Jack and guard Myles Mack for the first time this season.
Rutgers Head Coach Eddie Jordan
Opening statement: “Seton Hall was great at going inside the paint, and they have some pretty good shooters. We had to get a hold of the inside game, which we did not, and we couldn't defend them one-on-one inside of the post. We had to get help and they had some players open that made their shots. I thought we made a good effort coming back down the stretch, but there were some plays that we just did not complete to win down at the wire.”
On the intensity: “I know about the rivalry, but we should play like that every game. It doesn't matter if its Seton Hall, Syracuse or Louisville. It doesn't matter. We should play as hard with a lot of intensity every game.”
On Gene Teague: “We just didn't want to dig in the post. We wanted to play one-on-one in the post, but then we couldn't handle people one-on-one in the post and we needed help. Gibbs is a heck of a driver. They put their head down, took free throws. We have to contain and have post defense and we didn't do those two things and when we have to help so much in the paint, people get open on the perimeter.”
On the last offensive possessions: “We had Jerome (Seagears) driving to the basket in a nice lane and came over looking for contact to finish at the rim, but that's what guards do. They drive, and he saw a big man coming and just didn't finish.”
On keeping the team positive during losing streak: “Just talking to them and reminding them that they have to work. You cannot get discouraged. You have to work through it. There's no better way. You have to work in practice, extra work with shooting, understand concepts and principles that we try to get across. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. When you are trying to resurrect a new team and program, this is one of the bumps you have to get through.”
Rutgers Junior Guard Myles Mack
On once you fall behind, if it feels like everything has to go your way: “I think everything still didn’t go our way, We just fought at the end. We got some stops and (Seton Hall) still scored. We said every time they score, we’re still going to get it out and go. We pushed it and we got some easy baskets, but at the end that rebound cost us a lot.”
On what it felt like when J.J. Moore got a dunk to pull Rutgers within one at 72-71 late: “It felt like we were right back in it. It felt like we were right there and then we got a foul called and that set us back, but it happens.”
On how you keep the team’s spirits up and move on from this game: “Just talk to those guys and keep their heads up and be the leader that I am and just keep these guys focused. I think we will come in tomorrow and have a great practice and fight back.”
Seton Hall Head Coach Kevin Willard
On the win: "I was really happy with the way we battled. We got off to a good start and that helped us. We haven't won a road game in a while and talked about coming to a tough place the last few days. Sometimes we have a tendency when things go bad to make them go real bad. Tonight I was impressed with how when we let the lead slip away, we responded."
On foul trouble: "This team right here is much different than last year's team. Tonight's a perfect example. When Brandon (Mobley) got in foul trouble, we would have to go undersized at power forward last year. Now we have Stephane (Manga) to come off the bench and be a real physical player. I thought Steph's minutes really made a difference in the game to be honest with you."
On Sterling Gibbs: "I kind of knew what we had with Sterling (Gibbs) last year. He is understanding now when to be aggressive and when not to be. Sitting out a year, this is like his freshman year. He is starting to become a leader out there as well, which is difficult when you haven't been around."
On Rutgers-Seton Hall rivalry: "I thought both teams played really hard with a lot of intensity. I would like to see this game on a non-NFL day, but I know (Rutgers) had a football game yesterday. I think this game can be a great one for the fans and you can really build it up. These teams have been playing for years."