In a high-stakes encounter, Rutgers University's basketball team, the Scarlet Knights, clinched a hard-earned victory against Seton Hall in the annual Garden State Hardwood Classic. The game, played at the Prudential Center, concluded with a final score of 70-63.
The Turn of Tide
The victory, which unfolded before a capacity crowd, occurred in the wake of the much-anticipated recruitment of Dylan Harper, a five-star guard. The game also marked the return of Mawot Mag to the court, who had been benched due to an ACL injury. His significant contributions to the team's defensive strategy and rebounds were instrumental in restricting Seton Hall's shooting to a mere 36.4 percent.
Rutgers' Three-Point Mastery
The Scarlet Knights delivered a stellar performance beyond the three-point line, achieving a success rate of 50 percent (12 of 24). This impressive feat played a significant role in their victory. The strategic decision by Coach Steve Pikiell to induct Mag and freshman JaMichael Davis into the starting lineup paid dividends. Davis scored 11 points and made six assists, while Mag secured eight rebounds. Star big man Cliff Omoruyi dominated in the paint, achieving 11 points, 13 rebounds, and blocking seven shots. Noah Fernandes added 19 points with three three-pointers.
Seton Hall's Struggle
Despite Kadary Richmond's impressive performance with 21 points and nine rebounds, Seton Hall found themselves in a tough spot. They struggled particularly with three-pointers, shooting just 3 of 19, and free throws, making only 16 of 27. The outcome of the match improved Rutgers' record to 6-3, while Seton Hall fell to 5-4, remaining winless against teams ranked in the top 100 of KenPom.com.