Wednesday, March 08, 2006

RU defeats SH in 1st Round of Big East play

Rutgers R.small
Scarlet Knights clashed with Pirates on the hardwood surface of Madison Square Garden tonight. The Knights came away with the victory, 61-48, in the first round of the Big East Tournament. The Pirate’s Donald Copland led all scorers with 28. While Quincy Douby was held to just 18 points for RU, he got help from Anthony Farmer (14 points) and Marquis Webb (10 points).

The first half was incredibly low scoring as neither team shot very well—or each team played strong defense—take your pick. Quincy Douby didn’t make a field goal until seventeen minutes had elapsed. But he didn’t get to handle the ball much either as Seton Hall double- and triple-teamed him. The Pirates seemed willing to let anyone else try to score as long as it wasn’t Douby.

On the other end of the court, Copland was scoring nearly all of the Pirates’ points, netting four 3-pointers in those same 17 minutes. He would finish making 6 of 13 from beyond the arc and 9 of 18 from the field. No other player was in double figures and only one (Jamar Nutter with 8 points) had more than four points for the Hall. As a result, despite Copland’s 50% shooting, Seton Hall could only manage 26% (15 for 57) for the game.

Rutgers scoring picked up after the break as Douby, Byron Joynes and Jimmie Inglis found the range with short jumpers and lay-ins. The Scarlet Knights finished the game shooting 41% (19-46) from the field.

(Game Story and stats here.)

With the loss, Seton Hall has placed itself on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. With the victory, Rutgers moves to the Quaterfinals tomorrow and gets to face nationally No. 2 ranked and 2nd seeded Villanova at 7 PM. To even hope to advance to the NCAAs, RU will have to defeat Villanova and, perhaps, their opponent after that. Otherwise, it’s probably the NIT for the Knights.

(I would have posted this sooner, but Monmouth and Farleigh Dickenson were waging nail-biting battle on ESPN2. In a finish similar to that of the Syracuse-Cincinnati game, Monmouth scored the winner with just 2.1 seconds remaining to gain the NCAA invitation from the Northeast Conference. The final was 49-48.)

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