PISCATAWAY —The Rutgers Men’s Basketball team hasn’t tasted a Big East regular season win since March 7, 2009. They got their first bite of one Jan. 30 after defeating Notre Dame 74-73, thanks in large part to Hamady Ndiaye.
Ndiaye shadowed Luke Harangody the majority of the night and held the former 2008 Big East Player of the Year to 19 points, below his Big East-leading average of 24.5 PPG. In the last 33 seconds of the game, Ndiaye blocked two of Harangody’s shots and beat him to an offensive rebound off a missed free throw.
Ndiaye forced Harangody to settle for the outside shot the entire game, resulting in Harangody missing 18 of his 26 shots.
On the offensive end, Mike Rosario of Rutgers couldn’t miss a shot to begin the game: He started off 4-4 from the field. Rosario’s first failed attempt didn't come until the five minute mark of the first half, and he finished the game with 24 points (8-15, 4-8 for three-pointers).
Tim Abromaitis started the game off with a two point lay-up for Notre Dame. Rutgers followed that up with two quick three-point shots to put the score at 6-2. Rutgers held the lead until the 5:58 mark in the first half.
Rutgers gave up the lead when Notre Dame went on a 24-7 run starting at the 12:22 mark of the first half.
Notre Dame led at halftime 35-33.
Rutgers regained the lead at the 17:05 mark of the second half, and wouldn’t look back; a Jonathan Mitchell three-pointer made the score 42-39.
Things got a little interesting, when with less than three minutes to go, Ben Hansbrough hit a jumper that put Notre Dame behind by only two. Then with .08 seconds left and down by four, Hansbrough nailed a three-pointer and tried to convince the refs he was fouled by Ndiaye, flopping backwards into his bench.
There was no call, and Rutgers celebrated their first Big East win this year.
Leaders from the game:
Points: Mike Rosario (Rutgers): 24, Luke Harangody (Notre Dame): 19
Rebounds: Dane Miller (Rutgers): 10, Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame): 10
Assists: James Beatty (Rutgers): 5, Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame): 5
Blocks: Hamady Ndiaye (Rutgers): 6, Luke Harangody (Notre Dame): 1
Steals: James Beatty (Rutgers): 3, Tyrone Nash /Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame): 3
Luke Harangody was 4-0 against Rutgers in his career coming into this game.
Notre Dame defeated Rutgers twice last year. First, during the regular season in Indiana, then once again at the Big East Tournament in the first round.
Ben Hansbrough is the brother of Tyler Hansbrough, the former UNC basketball star and current Indiana Pacer.