Rutgers-Seton Hall: Hamady Ndiaye Plays Last Game at the RAC

Jimmy SurmonteCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2010

Seton Hall Pirates @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights

7:00PM ET, March 4, 2010

Louis Brown Athletic Center

Piscataway, NJ

Hamady Ndiaye's first ever block in a Rutgers uniform, at the RAC, came on Nov. 11, 2006 against Kansas State. It was his debut performance for the Scarlet Knights.

Coming off the bench, Ndiaye logged 18 minutes, while missing his only shot attempt and failing on his five free-throw attempts. But like most games since his debut, the 6’11” center from Dakar, Senegal led all players with the most blocked shots.

346 career blocked shots later, Ndiaye has the opportunity to go down as the single-season and career record holder for blocked shots in Scarlet Knights history. He needs 10 more blocked shots to break Roy Hinson’s (1979-1983) record of 355 blocked shots in a career and 12 to break Hinson’s single-season record of 144.

With two regular season games left and at least one guaranteed game in the Big East tournament, those three games should be more than enough to catapult the lone senior on the Scarlet Knights roster into the record books as the career and single-season record holder in Rutgers history, while at the same time stealing the reins as “greatest shot blocker in Rutgers men’s basketball history” from the great Roy Hinson.

Tonight’s game is a 7PM ET tip-off and will be nationally televised on ESPN. If you can’t make the game and Pack the RAC with the rest of the crazies, try to tune in and watch as Rutgers will salute and thank Ndiaye for his excellence on the basketball court and in the classroom over his past four exciting years as a Scarlet Knight.

Nine days ago, these two in-state rivals clashed at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The Seton Hall Pirates (16-11, 7-9 Big East) sprung to a 28-10 lead to start the game and would never look back, as they would go on to steal the first of two games between these two foes, 76-70.

Jeremy Hazell, second in the Big East in scoring, led all scorers with 25 points, and Herb Pope, the Big East leader in rebounding, helped out with six points and 12 rebounds for the Pirates.

Mike Rosario kicked in 17 points, and Dane Miller contributed with 16 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks for the Scarlet Knights.

Seton Hall is coming off a heartbreaking, overtime thriller loss against the Marquette Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon, 84-83.

Down eight at halftime, the Pirates offense went crazy against the Golden Eagles defense for 43 points in the second half.

Down two with 30 seconds left, Eugene Harvey of Seton Hall hit a pair of free throws to tie the game, 69-69. Marquette would have a shot to prevent overtime and slip away with the victory in regulation, but a Lazar Hayward three-point attempt for the Golden Eagles was no good.

In overtime, Marquette jumped out to a 76-71 lead. With less than two minutes to play, Seton Hall came storming back. Hazell, the Big East leader in three-pointers made, nailed three three-pointers in a one minute span, his last three-pointer resulting in a four-point play to put Seton Hall behind only one.

Marquette would go on to make two free throws but also miss two free throws to give Seton Hall one last shot to send the game into another overtime. A Hazell last-second desperation three-point attempt to send the game into a second overtime would hit rim and bounce out. The Golden Eagles would depart New Jersey with their sixth victory on the season by three points or less.

The Scarlet Knights haven’t been above .500 this late in the season since the 2005-2006 season. Thanks to Saturday's victory over DePaul, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (15-14, 5-11 Big East) finally got above that mark.

Just like Seton Hall in their last game, the Scarlet Knights would be down at halftime and put up huge second-half numbers. But the only difference between the two games would be the fact that Rutgers would go on to be victorious.

DePaul was up at halftime by 11 points, but Rutgers would throw down 45 points in the second half. A Hamady Ndiaye jumper to open the second half ignited a wild 30-7 RU run that lasted 12 minutes and 26 seconds. This run included six three-pointers (four by Rosario) after Rutgers only managed one three-pointer in the entire first half. This dominating run would give the Scarlet Knights a 14-point lead, 58-44.

Jeremiah Kelly’s three-pointer at the 2:13 mark in the second half would get DePaul within six, but Rutgers’ free-throw shooting (7-8, 87.5 percent) with under a minute to play would seal the victory for the Scarlet Knights.

Rosario would lead all scorers with 24 points and six rebounds, his first 20-point game since Feb. 9, 2010. Jonathan Mitchell would add 18 points and seven rebounds but was 0-of-7 from behind the three-point arc.

With six points tonight, Rosario will break the 1,000-point mark for his career.


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