DePaul Blue Demons vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights – Saturday, February 27th, 3:00 p.m. Central – Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway, New Jersey
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As DePaul winds down their season, they are set to embark on their final true road game as they visit Rutgers this Saturday afternoon. After the game against Rutgers, DePaul will host two more home games (South Florida and St. John's) and then get set for the Big East Tournament. The window to grab some wins and end a nine-game losing streak is closing with each passing day. That is why this road game against Rutgers is opportunistic.
However, it's never easy on the road, as the Demons have yet to secure a true road win this year and have not won in Big East play on the road since winning at Cincinnati two years ago.
Speaking of Cincinnati, the Demons just lost there this past Wednesday 74-69 to drop their record to 8-19, 1-14 in the Big East. Meanwhile, Rutgers lost at Seton Hall on Tuesday night 76-70 to fall to 14-14, 4-11 in the Big East.
This game is a rematch of a game that was played less than two weeks ago on February 16. In that game, DePaul held a 17-point lead in the first half only to let it evaporate and succumb in the second half and lose another heartbreaker 68-64.
Interim head coach Tracy Webster has the Demons playing hard and is preaching to his team the value of playing a complete game as they play well in stretches but never do enough to get over the hump.
In DePaul's last game against Rutgers the Demons had a 11-point halftime lead and would extend their lead to 13 early in the second half. But a 12-0 Rutgers run did the Demons in and they would never recover.
In that game for Rutgers, Hamady Ndiaye had a double-double (15 points and 13 rebounds) and Scarlet Knight leading scorer Mike Rosario (16.2 ppg) chipped in with 11 points. Rosario struggled in the first half, only to knock down some key shots in the second stanza. DePaul's Mac Koshwal had a fantastic effort in the losing cause by scoring 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds and a career high eight steals.
Rosario and Ndiaye are a nice inside-out combofor the Scarlet Knights that DePaul will have to contain if they are to have a shot in this game. Freshman forward Dane Miller also is proving to be a reliable player by chipping in with 9.6 ppg. Junior forward Jonathan Mitchell is another player to be careful of as he scores 11.6 ppg to go with 5.8 rpg.
While the game doesn't mean a lot in the whole scheme of things as both teams have no plans for the post-season, the game is instrumental in growing for next season and improving for next year.
This is a matter that is not lost on Rutgers head coach Fred Hill Jr., who is not overlooking DePaul.
"DePaul coming in on Saturday is going to be another test for our young guys," said Hill. "We were fortunate to beat them on the road, but they had us down 17. We were able to come back and win that game. I'm sure they're going to come in very confident, because they played well. They've got two guys in Mac Koshwal and Will Walker that are playing extremely good basketball. I expect another hard fought Big East battle on Saturday at the RAC."
The Last Time
The visitors from Rutgers came back from a 17 point deficit to put away DePaul, 68-64, back on February 16th to earn their first Big East road win of the season.
Mac Koshwal turned in a performance of 24 points, 12 rebounds, eight steals, and two blocked shots.
Will Walker contributed with 19 points for the Demons.
The Scarlet Knights featured four players in double-figures. Center Hamady Ndiaye led the way with 15 points and 13 boards. Freshman Dane Miller contributed 14 points. The Demons held Mike Rosario to 11 points on three of 12 from the floor. Mike Coburn, who came in off the bench to provide Rutgers with a spark, scored 10.
# Name Pos. Class Ht. Wt. HS/Hometown
10 BEATTY, JAMES G Jr. 6-2 195 New Hanover HS/Miami-Dade JC / Wilmington, N.C.
31 COBURN, MIKE G Jr .6-0 185 Mt. Vernon HS / Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
25 HASANI, MUHAMED G Fr. 6-3 190 Gymnasium Sami Frasheri / Pristina, Kosovo
23 JACKSON, PATRICK F So. 6-6 210 Boys & Girls HS / Brooklyn, N.Y
21 JOHNSON, AUSTIN F Fr. 6-8 230 Blair Academy / Elkins Park, Pa.
40 KOKOSINSKI, TOMASZ F So. 6-7 235 Bergen County Technical HS / Bergenfield, N.J
22 KUHN, MIKE G So 6-1 190 Christian Brothers Academy / Oceanport, N.J.
11 MILLER, DANE F Fr. 6-7 210 Rush-Henrietta HS / Henrietta, N.Y.
24 MITCHELL, JONATHAN F R-Jr. 6-7 225 Mt. Vernon HS/Florida / Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
5 NDIAYE, HAMADY C Sr. 7-0 235 Stoneridge Prep (CA) / Dakar, Senegal
32 OKAM, BRIAN C Fr. 7-0 245 Lake Highland Preparatory School / Enugu, Nigeria
15 RIGOGLIOSO, CHARLIE G Jr 6-2 185 Wayne Valley / Wayne, N.J.
3 ROSARIO, MIKE G So. 6-3 180 Saint Anthony HS / Jersey City, N.J.
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