Seton Hall (5-3) at Rutgers (4-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 8, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The RAC (8.000) -- Piscataway, New Jersey. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Seton Hall 4-1, Rutgers 4-3. Away Record: Seton Hall 0-1, Rutgers 0-2. Neutral Record: Seton Hall 1-1, Rutgers 0-0. Conference Record: Seton Hall 0-0, Rutgers 0-0. Series Record: Seton Hall leads, 35-27.
GAME NOTES: Former conference rivals collide when the Seton Hall Pirates go head-to-head with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a battle of instate foes at the RAC.
Both of these teams once belonged to the Big East but they were each a part of the shift in the league's landscape this past year. The Scarlet Knights helped form the American Athletic Conference as they get set to join the Big Ten. On the other hand Seton Hall helped form the new, entirely basketball- centric Big East. The Pirates lead the all-time series 35-27, though Rutgers has won three straight meetings.
Seton Hall will be short-handed in this game as Fuquan Edwin (13.8 ppg) will be out due to a sprained ankle that limited him to just a single minute against Long Island Brooklyn on Thursday. The Pirates still managed to pull out a 92-81 victory in that contest to improve to 5-3 on the year. Seton Hall is at home in its next four games beginning against NJIT.
A promising start to the season has regressed in a major way for Rutgers in their first season under Eddie Jordan. The Scarlet Knights have lost four of their last five games, including their 93-87 setback at George Washington on Wednesday. The only win during that stretch came against Stillman, a team from outside the Division I ranks. Rutgers is beginning a six-game homestand in this battle. The next matchup features Princeton.
The Pirates were able to weather the storm without Edwin thanks to the efforts of Brian Oliver. In 33 minutes, Oliver nailed 8-of-17 3-point attempts and finished with a game-high 26 points. The Pirates hit 14-of-38 shots from beyond the arc in total to make up for 15 turnovers.
Oliver (10.6 ppg) is likely to once again take up the call for Edwin. Although he clearly has the range to heat up from beyond the arc, Oliver is not as versatile a scorer as Edwin. Sterling Gibbs (14.6 ppg, 4.4 apg) leads the team in points and assists, though he needs to improve on his shooting (.339). Eugene Teague (8.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg) will also be needed in Edwin's absence. Seton Hall would gladly settle for the type of performance he had against LIU Brooklyn as he finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Brandon Mobley (7.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) also had a strong game (14 points, seven rebounds) and will look to keep it going.
Rutgers hit 50.8 percent of its shots from the floor, including 13-of-27 from beyond the arc and still lost to George Washington. The Scarlet Knights were done in by a 27-12 deficit on the boards as well as the 16 turnovers they committed.
Even in the loss there were some bright spots for Rutgers, especially the play of Myles Mack. Mack hit 8-of-12 shots from the floor and scored a game-high 26 points. Scoring points has not been an issue for Mack (15 ppg). Kadeem Jack (15.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is sliding backwards after a quick start especially on the boards, with only five rebounds in the last two games. J.J. Moore (13.4 ppg), Jerome Seagears (10.3 ppg), D'Von Campbell (9.6 ppg) and Wally Judge (8.,4 ppg, 7.8 rpg) fit into the equation as well.
Seeing Mack return to the efficient shooting form that is expected of him is something Jordan is going to want more of. If he can at least come close the Scarlet Knights have a real shot against a Seton Hall squad playing without one of their key pieces.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rutgers 76, Seton Hall 70
12/08 10:35:16 ET