Rutgers Advances to NIT Semifinals: Will Face Iowa State
The Rutgers Men's Basketball team defeated the Villanova Wildcats to advance to the National Invitation Tournament Semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York. This trip will mark the third time in Rutgers history that the Scarlet Knights have advanced to the NIT's Final Four. Rutgers will face Iowa State (20-12) on Tuesday March 30th at 7PM EST.
Though it has been a long time since Rutgers has advanced this far into the NIT (1978), the road to Madison Square Garden took a remarkably familiar route. After defeating Temple and West Virginia, each for the second time this season, in the first and second rounds, Rutgers faced another familiar opponent in the Villanova Wildcats. It was a back and forth contest until about the midway point of the first half. Ricky Shields' trey at the 10:01 mark gave Rutgers a 22-20 lead. The Scarlet Knights would go on a 16-5 burst en route to a 43-31 halftime lead.
Villanova raced to an early 6-1 lead to open the game as Allan Ray nailed two three-pointers. The Scarlet Knights would settle down and would take their first lead, 12-10, on a jumper from Quincy Douby at the 14:49 mark. The ensuing 4 minutes and change would feature 8 lead changes as both teams began to find their shooting mark. Villanova would take their last lead at 20-19 on a Derrick Snowden trey midway through the first half. Shields would connect on two more from downtown and Rutgers interior defense tightened as the Scarlet Knights widened their lead to 12 by halftime.
The second half featured more of the first half. The Wildcats were never able to put together a serious run as Rutgers would lead by as many as 19. Ricky Shields would finish with a game-high 21 points on 7-10 shooting. Quincy Douby added 11 of his 18 points in the second half and Adrian Hill scored a career high 13 points highlighted by several energizing dunks. Herve Lamizana, perhaps playing at the RAC for the last time fell just 1 rebound and 2 blocks short of a triple double. Curtis Sumpter led Villanova (18-17) with 15 points in a losing effort.
The NIT semifinals will be broadcast on ESPN2, with tip-offs scheduled for 7PM and 9PM.
|TEAM REBS: 3
TURNOVERS: 20 (R Foye 5, A Ray 4, C Sumpter 4, D Snowden 2, J Fraser 2, M Nardi 2, W Sheridan)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 8 (J Fraser 4, C Sumpter 2, W Sheridan 2)
STEALS: 2 (D Snowden, J Fraser)
3-PT FGS: 7-17, .412 (C Sumpter 1-2, R Foye 1-2, M Nardi 1-4, A Ray 3-7, D Snowden 1-2)
|TEAM REBS: 5
TURNOVERS: 15 (M Webb 4, H Lamizana 3, A Hill 3, R Shields 2, J Wiggan 2, Q Douby)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 11 (H Lamizana 8, A Hill 3)
STEALS: 12 (M Webb 4, R Shields 3, H Lamizana 2, A Hill 2, S Axani)
3-PT FGS: 9-19, .474 (H Lamizana 1-2, R Shields 6-8, Q Douby 2-6, M Webb 0-2, J Wiggan 0-1)
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