Rosario Looks To Bounce Back From Shooting Slump Against UConn

UConn Huskies @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights

4:00 PM ET, February 20, 2010

Louis Brown Athletic Center

Piscataway, NJ

The Rutgers Men’s Basketball team last defeated the University of Connecticut dating back to January 30, 2002. Since then they are 0-for-8 in attempts against UConn and will try to eliminate the Huskies quest for an NCAA bid tomorrow at the RAC.

Rutgers is coming off a comeback victory against DePaul for their first victory on the road in 17 games. Down by 11 at halftime and as many as 17 in the first twenty minutes, the Scarlet Knights made up for their lackluster first half performance by dropping 44 points on the Blue Demons in the second half.

At the 5:43 mark in the second half, a Mike Rosario three pointer gave the Scarlet Knights their first lead of the night. Two and a half minutes later, another Rosario three pointer would give Rutgers the lead for good; as they would go on to overpower DePaul, 68-64.

Hamady Ndiaye was the leading scorer for the Scarlet Knights kicking in 15 points, along with, 13 rebounds for his 5th double-double on the season. Dane Miller contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Mike Coburn added 10 points off the bench.

Playing on the Wildcats home-court in Philadelphia, PA; the Huskies managed to pull off the upset win over the No. 3 Villanova Wildcats Monday night, 84-75.

Kemba Walker dropped a career-high 29 points (14-of-16 from the charity stripe). Stanley Robinson helped out with 10 points and 7 rebounds, while Jerome Dyson contributed 15 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds en route to a Huskies victory.

The Scarlet Knights have been able to pull away these past couple victories without the threat of their leading scorer Mike Rosario.

In the past two games, Rosario is shooting a combined 6-of-28 from the field and 5-of-18 from behind the three point line. He was held to 10 points against Georgetown and only 11 points against DePaul, both below his team leading average of 16.2 points per game.

Hamady Ndiaye of the Scarlet Knights leads the Big East in blocked shots with 121, while Gavin Edwards of the Huskies is in a far distance second with only 61. On the other hand, UConn as a team leads the Big East with 8.3 blocks per game, while Rutgers is second with 7.1 blocks per game.

With only five games left, plus the Big East tournament, Hamady Ndiaye is on pace to break Roy Hinson’s single season record for blocked shots. During the ’82-’83 season, Hinson recorded 144 blocked shots. Ndiaye has 121 at the moment, and only needs 24 more to run away into the record books.

Rutgers haven’t won three in a row in the Big East since the 2003-2004 season when they went on a four game winning streak defeating St. Johns, Villanova, Notre Dame, and Miami, FL.

The Huskies are a dreadful 1-for-6 on the season in road games. If UConn falls to the Scarlet Knights, they can say goodbye NCAA tournament and hello NIT.

Statistic leaders on the season:

Scoring: Mike Rosario (Rutgers): 16.2 PTS/GM; Jerome Dyson (UConn): 18.7 PTS/GM

Rebounds: Hamady Ndiaye (Rutgers): 7.0 REB/GM; Stanley Robinson (UConn): 7.6 REB/GM

Assists: Mike Coburn/James Beatty (Rutgers): 3.5 AST/GM; Kemba Walker (UConn): 5.7 AST/GM

Steals: James Beatty (Rutgers): 1.4 STL/GM; Kemba Walker (UConn): 2.0 STL/GM

Blocks: Hamady Ndiaye (Rutgers): 4.7 BLK/GM; Gavin Edwards (UConn): 2.3 BLK/GM

By: James Surmonte

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