In the first game of this season's rivalry match-ups, Mike Rice showed Kevin Willard what Rutgers basketball is all about.
More after the jump...Dane blanketed Jeremy Hazell, who bricked a ton of threes. He also scored 17 pts and pulled in 11 rebounds. He even threw down a highlight reel dunk that caused Twitter to go nuts as the SNY/ESPN feed was out.
Rutgers lead almost the entire game, building the lead up to 11 at one point in the second half. But SHU kept picking away, and RU couldn't drop in a foul shot (11-24). They cut the lead to four, but Rutgers always found a way to respond.
Seton Hall's press was ineffective, as Rutgers broke it again and again. They controlled the tempo, lead the rebounding battle and fouled out Herb Pope. It was as perfect a game plan as Rice and Co. could have come up with. The players are starting to beieve, improve, and now they have confidence. While still not extremely talented, this is the kind of win that could keep the team in every other game down the stretch. They can build on this.
Gilvydas Biruta also scored double digits, and was involved in the closest thing to an altercation. Herb Pope fouled him and kept his arm on Biruta after the call. Gil shrugged Pope off and the refs had to separate them. Nothing happened beyond that.
Mike Rice was much more composed this game, as opposed to the USF game. The players all executed their rolls. Seton Hall continues to flounder, even with Hazell back. Got to wonder what will happen to this team as the season rolls on.