Men’s basketball holds on to Garden State Hardwood Classic title in 45-43 win over Rutgers

Seton Hall retained the Garden State Hardwood Classic trophy in South Orange after defeating the Rutgers at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Sunday.

Al-Amir Dawes gave the Pirates their first lead of the game with an easy 3-pointer at the 18:56 mark of the first half. After Rutgers responded with five consecutive points, Jameel Harris continued with his own three.

Dre Davis came back to the court to cause a 7-0 run after coming in for a three party and connecting from the deep. The run ended as KC Ndefo made his layup with 6:16 remaining and Hall took his 19-12 lead. However, the Scarlet Knights gained traction and a 10-0 run ensued.

Rutgers had a 26-22 advantage at the break. Harris scored his six points in his first 20 minutes to give the Pirates the lead. Dawes wasn’t far behind with his five goals and Ndefo added his four in the second half.

Andre Hyatt of the Scarlet Knights tripled to bring the lead back to seven and forced a timeout from coach Holloway. Seton Hall took his 8–0 lead after a timeout and regained the lead at 34–33.

Five draws and four lead changes occurred in the final nine minutes of play. Rutgers tied at 43 with 2:18 remaining, but Ndefo made a layup to give him a two-point lead. The Pirates’ imminent defense went away with a 45–43 victory, sealing the win.

Ndefo won the Joe Calabrese MVP trophy with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Davis led the team with 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting. Dawes added he had 8 points and he added 3 rebounds.

Hall improved to 6-4 on the season with a win over interstate rival Rutgers. The Pirates are back in action as they face Drexel at the Prudential Center on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 7:00 p.m.

To contact Thomas Donnelly: Find him on Twitter @_tommyd023.

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