St. Johns Red Storm @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights
7:30 PM ET, February 2, 2010
Louis Brown Athletic Center
PISCATAWAY – For the second game in a row it felt like every shot Mike Rosario threw up somehow found a way to go in. Rosarioâ€™s career high 33 points were the driving force that would help lead Rutgers to its second straight Big East victory defeating St. Johns, 84-72.
From the get-go it was a sloppy game for both teams. After the teams traded three pointers to start off the game, they would combine for eight turnovers in the first five minutes.
When it seemed like Rutgers couldnâ€™t get any momentum, St. Johns finding it way too easy to score. The Scarlet Knights switched to zone defense, and things started changing in favor of Rutgers.
Rosario and Jonathan Mitchell would hit back to back three pointers during an 11-2 Rutgers run that would put the score at 18-9 Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers zone defense was extremely effective, forcing St. Johns to take bad shots. But Rutgers inability to rebound gave the Red Storm many second chance opportunities.
At the two minute mark of the first half, Rutgers would get up by 15, its biggest lead of the game, on a Mike Rosario three point play.
Rutgers led at halftime, 40-29.
In the first half, Rosario was eight of 11 from the field and three of 5 from behind the three point line for 21 points. Rutgers as a team shot 56 %( 14-25) from the field and 55.6 %( 5-9) from the three point line. They also managed to turn the ball over eight times and give up eight offensive rebounds.
Over the last five games, D.J. Kennedy was shooting 22% from the floor. But once the ball was inbounded in the second half, it was like a switch in Kennedy went off. Against man defense, Kennedy would just fly by his defender and either get fouled or find a teammate for an open look.
Kennedy knocked down a three pointer to put the score in single digits and the Red Storm a little closer to making a comeback. After another three pointer by Kennedy put the score at 60-54 Rutgers, thatâ€™s the closet it would end up getting.
Jonathan Mitchellâ€™s three point dagger with 2:35 left, would initiate the RAC to go crazy and lock up another Big East victory for the Scarlet Knights.
Mike Rosario led all scorers with his career high 33 points, while D.J. Kennedy also scored a career high with 27 points. Hamady Ndiaye would add 19 points and 9 rebounds, while Jonathan Mitchell added 18 points for the Scarlet Knights. Sean Evans contributed 11 points and Justin Burrell supplied 10 points for the Red Storm.
Hamady Ndiaye has 108 blocks on the season. With 10 regular season games and the Big East Tournament left, Ndiaye needs only 36 more blocks to pass Rutgers single season record holder Roy Hinsonâ€™s 144.
Rutgers last victory against St. Johns came on March 5th, 2006 at Madison Square Garden.
Since 2003, the Scarlet Knights were 2-6 against the Red Storm.
Anthony Mason Jr. of St. Johns Red Storm is the son of former NY Knick, Anthony Mason Sr.
Leaders from the game:
Points: Mike Rosario (Rutgers): 33, D.J. Kennedy (St. Johns): 27
Rebounds: Hamady Ndiaye (Rutgers): 9, D.J. Kennedy/Sean Evans (St. Johns): 9
Assists: James Beatty (Rutgers): 8, D.J. Kennedy (St. Johns): 3
Blocks: Hamady Ndiaye (Rutgers): 9, D.J. Kennedy (St. Johns): 3
Steals: 3 tied with: 2, Anthony Mason Jr. (St. Johns): 4
By: Jimmy Surmonte