Rutgers Looks to Upset Pittsburgh in Regular Season Finale

Jimmy SurmonteCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2010

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Pittsburgh Panthers

4:30PM ET, March 6, 2010

Peterson Events Center

Pittsburgh, PA


The Rutgers Scarlet Knights Men’s basketball team hasn’t fared too well against the Pittsburgh Panthers in years past. Since 2002, Rutgers (15-15, 5-12 Big East) record against the Panthers (23-7, 12-5 Big East) is 1-8, their lone victory coming two years ago, when the Scarlet Knights pulled off the upset victory in Pittsburgh.

They hope the tables turn against the Panthers as they travel to Pittsburgh before the Big East tournament kicks off.

The Scarlet Knights are coming off a devastating loss to their in-state rival Seton Hall Thursday on Senior Night.

With 4:51 left in the first half, a Jeff Robinson tip-in basket would give Seton Hall the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Two Jordan Theodore free throws in the middle of the second half, would begin an 11-3 Seton Hall run, giving the Pirates a nine point lead over the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers missed seven shots with under five minutes to play, and Seton Hall’s free throw shooting would seal the victory, as the Pirates would go on to sweep the season series against the Scarlet Knights for the second year in a row, 85-74.

Mike Rosario led the Scarlet Knights with 17 points (16 coming in the second half). Jonathan Mitchell helped out with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Hamady Ndiaye kicked in with 12 points, five rebounds, and five blocks.

Mike Rosario broke 1,000 points for his career with a three-pointer at the 17:53 mark in the second half.

Hamady Ndiaye will break the career record for blocked shots in Rutgers’ history with five blocks today. With seven blocks he’ll break the single-season record.

If Rutgers loses today and Seton Hall loses tonight there is a strong possibility these two foes could brawl for the third time in less than three weeks in the first round of the Big East tournament next week at Madison Square Garden.

The Pittsburgh Panthers needed some luck Thursday night to fend off the Providence Friars.

With 12:25 left in the second half, a Marshon Brooks dunk gave Providence its first lead of the second half.

With 40 seconds left in the game, Jermaine Dixon’s lay-up handed the lead back to the Panthers. Five seconds later, Sharand Curry sank two free throws to tie the game at 70-70.

Brad Wanamaker missed a jumper with nine seconds left, handing the Friars one last shot to run away with the upset win.

A Jermaine Dixon foul with 3.5 seconds left put Brian McKenzie at the free throw line. His first attempt from the charity stripe rimmed out, but he capitalized on his second attempt, giving Providence a one-point advantage.

A heroic run up three-point shot by Ashton Gibbs, at the buzzer, would lift the Panthers to the victory, and prevent an embarrassing home defeat to the Providence Friars, as they won 73-71.

Ashton Gibbs led all scorers with 25 points. Jermaine Dixon broke career and season highs with 24 points, while Brad Wanamaker also broke career and season highs with 13 assists in the win for the Panthers.

With a win today against the Scarlet Knights, the Panthers would clinch the second seed in the Big East tournament, meaning they won’t play until the third round (quarterfinals) of the tourney.


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