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Sunday, February 08, 2009


February 8, 2009

It is already time for the rematch between Garden State rivals on Sunday when Rutgers and Seton Hall square off at high noon at the RAC. Just 10 days earlier, Seton Hall held off a late Rutgers rally for a 70-67 win in the always hotly contested match-up.

Seton Hall is riding the momentum of a three-game winning streak in the contest which has been largely thanks to the extremely hot hand of Jeremy Hazell. The sophomore scorer-extraordinaire scored 35 in the win over Rutgers, with 28 coming in the second half. In his last outing, a 91-81 SHU win over St. John’s, Hazell scored 31 more.

Rutgers finally got their first Big East win of the year as they beat up on punching bag DePaul last weekend. They followed that up with a 57-47 setback at Georgetown and now face their rivals, looking for revenge from the earlier defeat.

Here are some pregame stories and previews on the game:

Friendly Rivals (Asbury Park Press)
Mike Rosario is Still Working Hard for Rutgers as SHU Comes to the RAC (
RU vs. SHU: The Sequel (

We keep waiting for Rutgers to show some progress and improvement in Fred Hill’s third season as head coach. The Scarlet Knights were 2-14 and 3-15 in his first two seasons and there was some hype surrounding this year’s club with the additions of Mike Rosario and Greg Echenique. However, it has not translated into success on the court as RU is just 1-9 in the Big East this season.

Rosario has done his part as one of the top freshman in the Big East, unfortunately, the team around him often plays in a dysfunctional manner with little flow on offense and often playing into the opponents preferred style.

Seton Hall will try and get Rutgers into their manic style of basketball. That is often easier done at home than on the road where the crowd and officials can be more favorable to tilt the game in their favor. Now, they will have to get back onto the road and see if their momentum of three straight wins will carry over.

The Pirates just finished a four-game home stand, winning their last three, and now face RU and DePaul on the road before the schedule toughens once again. They certainly have some impressive offensive talent, now they will have to come together on the road for a win.

The college basketball lines this morning show Rutgers as a 1 ½-point favorite on their home floor. While SHU looks to be the better team, Rutgers is likely to play this game as it is their season on their home floor. Look for the Knights to come out with a win, in a very intense battle between the two Jersey schools of the Big East.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Rutgers 73
Seton Hall 70



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