Despite senior guard Jeremy Hazell scoring a game-best 27 points, which included a buzzer-beating, game-tying 3-pointer that helped Seton Hall Pirates survive regulation, the Rutgers basketball program downed their New Jersey rivals in overtime, 76-70, in the first round of the Big East Conference Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Senior forward Jonathan Mitchell netted eight of his team-best 25 points in OT for Rutgers, which advanced to the second round to play the No. 5-seed St. John's Red Storm Wednesday at 2 p.m on ESPN2.
Rutgers scored the game's final seven points to pull away and earn its first Big East Tournament victory since 2006. Mitchell scored all of his OT points from the free-throw line. Freshman forward Gilvydas Biruta chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds, but none came in OT.
Unfortunately for Seton Hall (13-8), its season comes to and end and so does the collegiate career of Hazell, who sent the game into extra time by nailing an off-balance 3-pointer at the end of regulation. The 3 helped the Pirates play an extra five minutes, but the Scarlet Knights nailed 10-of-13 free throws in OT.
Senior guard James Beatty scored a 2-point basket in OT for Rutgers and finished with 12 points. Senior guard Mike Coburn finished with 11 points, including an overtime free throw, while junior forward Robert Lumpkins scored his lone point in OT.