Aiken and Rhoden lead No. 23 Seton Hall ahead of rival Rutgers | WGN 720 radio

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NEWARK, NJ (AP) Jared Rhoden raised his eyebrows on Big East media day when he said he thinks Seton Hall is one of the best teams in the country.

The unranked Pirates were picked to finish fifth in the conference by league coaches, but it turns out Rhoden may be right.

Bryce Aiken scored 22 points and Rhoden had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead No.23 Seton Hall past Rutgers 77-63 on Sunday night at the Garden State Hardwood Classic.

Kadary Richmond added 12 points to the Pirates (9-1), who had two top 10 wins and now a convincing win over an opponent who had just beaten the nation’s No. 1 team.

“We have proven that we are one of the best teams in the country,” said Rhoden. “This is a statement that I stand by since my press conference on media day a few months ago and I will stick to it. We are one of the best teams in the country, and we are by far one of the most talented teams.

Alexis Yetna had 10 points and seven rebounds for Seton Hall. Myles Cale also contributed with 10 points and five steals.

“We have a lot of players on this team. It is not a surprise. Everyone knows that, ”Aiken said. “So whoever goes, whoever is hot, we’re just playing with that person.” “

Aiken was selected MVP Joe Calabrese in the New Jersey Top School Basketball Rivalry Game.

“It gives us the ability to expand the pitch at times,” said Pirates coach Kevin Willard. “This is what we see in practice. He’s going to take a 38 footer at the break and he has that ability. He has that confidence and I’ve come to realize that all you have to do is let Bryce be Bryce.

Caleb McConnell scored 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (5-5), who claimed a thrilling victory Thursday night at home over top-ranked Purdue on a 3-point buzzer from Ron Harper Jr. of the interior. half-ground.

Harper had 30 points and 10 rebounds in that game, but was limited to 10 points on 3 of 12 shots in this one.

Cliff Omoruyi added 13 points and six rebounds for Rutgers.

With a back-and-forth start in the first half, the game was tied at 23 with 4:18 until the break after McConnell’s jumper. Seton Hall then went on a 14-0 streak before taking a 37-27 lead at halftime.

The Scarlet Knights have reduced it to six on several occasions. The last time was 62-56 at 6:24 am before the Pirates pulled out for good.

“I never seemed to stop there. There was that long possession where the ball went out of bounds, but we just didn’t play well, ”said Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell. “And you have to play well when you’re on the road against a good basketball team. “

BAKER BACK, OBIAGU OUTSIDE

Rutgers senior captain Geo Baker returned to the lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury followed by the flu.

“Geo hadn’t trained for 20 days, so for him to come back he’s obviously a piece of that thing that’s a big piece,” Pikiell said. “Having him back today was good and bodes well for us in the future. “

Seton Hall big man Ike Obiagu was absent after spraining his ankle in the previous game, a victory over the No.7 Texas.

PJ PASSING

Willard overtook PJ Carlesimo for second place in program history with 213 wins. Honey Russell is first with 295 from 1937 to 1960.

BIG PICTURE

Rutgers: After making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 30 years last season, the 2021-2022 campaign has been tough, with losses to UMass and Big East bottom-feeder DePaul, as well as at home to Lafayette. After upsetting Purdue, a win over a ranked opponent in a rivalry game would have gone a long way in what is otherwise a soft non-conference schedule.

Seton Hall: The Pirates’ only loss was to No.21 Ohio State by a 3 point score late, and they won No.4 Michigan and No.7 Texas. Having entered the unranked season, Seton Hall looks like a team that can compete for the Big East title when the conference begins next week.

FOLLOWING

Rutgers: Hosts Rider on Saturdays.

Seton Hall: Will play Iona on Saturday in the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.

More AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25



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