With Seton Hall in dire need of a win to maintain their NCAA tournament candidacy, Jordan Theodore delivered.
With the Pirates having lost six consecutive games, the senior guard scored 24 points to carry Seton Hall (16-8, 5-7) over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (12-13, 4-8) Wednesday night at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Herb Pope chipped in 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Pirates, who settle into 10th place in the Big East Conference.
Theodore shot 8-for-15 from the field and also sunk 7-of-8 free throw attempts. As a team, Seton Hall shot nearly 43 percent from the field while Rutgers floundered at 31.5 percent. The Scarlet Knights were also just 6-for-23 from 3-point range, which played a significant role in erasing their 28-26 halftime lead.
The two teams played at a back-and-forth pace all night, as eight lead changes and four ties kept the game close until a 3-pointer from Pope put Seton Hall ahead for good at 51-50. Prior to that play, a trey from Dane Miller gave Rutgers a 50-48 lead with 3:08 to go.
Mike Poole led Rutgers with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Eli Carter added 13. Sunday afternoon, Seton Hall hosts PIttsburgh, winners of four of their last five. Rugets, meanwhile, has a week off before traveling to Notre Dame next Wednesday night.