Rutgers' pressure defense was supposed to be its strength this year. It wasn't until today. Today the Knights pressure defense worked, at least for a while. The Knights opened against "The Hall" with crushing defense that allowed the RU to open up a 19-5 lead at the nine minute mark in the first half. RU held the Pirates scoreless for six minutes and forced repeated turnovers.
Seton Hall broke their scoring drought but the Knights played with great intensity, often rejecting shots in the middle and stealing passes in the wing. Only poor shooting by Rutgers kept "the Hall" in the game.
Late in the first half a very questionable three point play off what looked like a charge into Herve Lamizana allowed "the Hall" to close to 26-19. Pressure defense by "the Hall" resulted in a steal and an easy lay up to cut the Rutgers lead to five at the half.
The Knights inability to hold the lead was portentious of things to come.
The second half opened up well for Rutgers. Jerome Coleman must have taken personal offense at "the Hall's" late first half surge. He open up the second half with 8 straight points (two threes and a two) to put the Knights back into the lead 34-23.
Jerome, however, cooled down and the SHU heated up. A couple of three pointers by Andre Barrett closed the margin to 36-34 with twelve and a half minutes to go in the game. After going 0-9 the Knights built their cushion to four on a Kareem Wright put back with eleven minutes to go but then the game went into a holding pattern.
Rutgers and the Pirates seesawed through most of the rest of the second half with the Knight generally holding onto leads between two and four points but with time running out the Hall started to close in and a John Allen jumper with two minutes to go finally gave Seton and one point lead. Two foul shots by Allen put the Pirate ahead by three with a little over a minute to go.
With 55 seconds left in the game Andre Barrett hit two free throws to increase that lead to 5. Herve Lamizana took the ball inside and quickly answered with a slam to cut the lead to three with 46 seconds left in the contest.
With Rutgers pressuring full court, the Knights almost forced a back court violation but the Pirates beat the pressure and got an easy lay up by Greg Morton. Herve answered with a three to again cut the Hall lead to two with 20 seconds to go and the Knights quickly fouled. Greg Morton hit one of two foul shots to make the score Seton Hall 56 - Rutgers 53 with 19 seconds to go.
Ricky Shields missed a long three and Rutgers was forced to foul with six second to go.
Andre Sweet hit two of two to put the game away.
Final Score Seton Hall 58, Rutgers 53.
Rutgers drops to 1-6 in conference play.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) John Allen scored six of his 25 points in a game-ending 17-7 spurt that rallied Seton Hall to a 58-53 victory over Rutgers on Sunday in a showdown between New Jersey's struggling Big East Conference programs.
Andre Barrett added 14 points and Andre Sweet had a couple of key late rebounds for the Pirates (9-9, 4-4), who trailed by 13 points early in the second half.
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