Game Preview: Seton Hall vs. Rutgers

USA TODAY Sports

After rolling over a pesky LIU Brooklyn team on Thursday, Seton Hall gets to take on in-state rival Rutgers at the Prudential Center.

When: December 8

Where: Piscataway, NJ

Time: 8 EST

How to Watch: ESPNU

Here it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for -- Seton Hall (5-3) and Rutgers (4-5) slugging it out for the New Jersey crown in a game dubbed "the Turnpike Tussle."

Outlook for the Pirates

Seton Hall downed LIU Brooklyn on Thursday, but fell to Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday. Actually, Rutgers lost to FDU, as well, so the Knights are Jersey’s real top team.

But for the sake of tradition, we can ignore that.

Fuquan Edwin went down with an ankle injury against the Blackbirds and will not be able to suit up on Sunday. With their leading scorer sidelined, the Pirates will look for Sterling Gibbs, Brian Oliver and Gene Teague to shoulder the offensive load.

Oliver is coming off of a red-hot shooting night against LIU Brooklyn, in which he drilled eight shots from beyond the arc for 26 points.

After an impressive start to the season, Gibbs has been in a slump as of late. In his past three games, the standout Texas University transfer has given coach Kevin Willard just over seven points a night. Gibbs exceeded seven points in the first five games of the year.

Scouting the Scarlet Knights

Rutgers hoops took a step back with that whole Mike Rice debacle, but, as is the case in most sports rivalries, they’re going to come to play Sunday night.

Kadeem Jack leads the frontcourt attack with over 15 points and seven boards a night, while guard Myles Mack enters the game averaging 15 points and about four assists.

As a team, RU shoots 45 percent from the field and just over 37 percent from downtown. Seton Hall shouldn’t have too many problems matching up defensively with the Scarlet Knights, but keeping Jack and Mack from erupting will be imperative.

Prediction

Seton Hall has the edge all-time against Rutgers, and enters the game with a 35-29 record dating all the way back to 1916. And as RU’s official athletic site notes, 17 of the last 19 meetings between these in-state foes have been decided by six points or less or in overtime.

With that in mind, Seton Hall is still the better all-around team. Rutgers will play with heart, but the Pirates should walk out of the RAC with a 6-3 record Sunday night.

Seton Hall 87, Rutgers 72
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