Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Memphis Downs Seton Hall in Puerto Rico; Rosario Drops Career-High 27 on Robert Morris
After knocking off one Top 25 team Thursday night, Seton Hall was unable to follow it up on Friday.
No. 12 Memphis beat the Pirates, 84-70, in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The Pirates (3-1) played the Tigers even in the second half but could not overcome a 44-30 halftime deficit.
“I think our guys ran out of gas in the second half,” Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzaleztold The Star-Ledger. “We were a little outclassed and outhustled in the end. But I’m really proud of how we battled to the very end.
“The final score means a lot to us and we were able to rebound from a 26-point deficit and lose by only 14. No one wants to be humiliated and blown out, so I’m proud that we were able to play hard late and cut into that lead.”
Sophomore Jeremy Hazell poured in a career-high 32 points for Seton Hall, making 9 of 21 shots and 5 of 15 from beyond the arc. Junior guard Eugene Harvey added 21 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. John Garcia posted a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Hazell, Harvey and Garcia accounted for all but seven of Seton Hall’s points.
The Pirates were playing with only seven scholarship players for the second straight night because of a suspension imposed on power forward Robert “Stix” Mitchell.
Mitchell will be eligible to play Sunday, when the Pirates meet Virginia Tech in the consolation game.
Seton Hall was coming off a stunning 63-61 victory over No. 19 USC Thursday in which it overcame a 15-point second-half deficit.
Memphis used 14-2 run to seize a 58-35 lead in the second half.
Four players reached double-figures for Memphis (4-0), led by Doneal Mack’s 16 points and Willie Kemp’s 14. Freshman guard Tyreke Evans, who once had Seton Hall on his list of potential schools, tallied 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting.
“I think really we were prepared to play USC,” Memphis freshman guard Wesley Witherspoon told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “It was going to be a big game, and Cal [John Calipari] was worried about us playing Seton Hall because he felt we’d play without intensity, so we had to prove him wrong.”
Memphis will meet Xavier in Sunday’s championship game. Xavier stunned Virginia Tech, 63-62, on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from halfcourt by Dante Jackson.ROSARIO DROPS CAREER-HIGH 27 ON ROBERT MORRISFreshman shooting guard Mike Rosario just keeps getting better and better.
The McDonald’s All-American out of St. Anthony poured in a career-high 27 points to lift Rutgers to a 69-55 victory over Robert Morris in the Garden State Challenge at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Rosario was 10 of 18 from the field, 5 of 12 from 3.
Rosario’s big night came when his former teammate Dominic Cheek began his official visit to Rutgers. Cheek is down to Kansas, Villanova, Rutgers and Pittsburgh.
“It was great,” Rosario said, according to Sam Hellman of SNY.tv’s Big East Sports Blog. “I have all of the older guys behind me and they guide me. Just coming out here tonight, I’m just so thankful to be here at Rutgers.”
Rosario’s 27 points were the most by a freshman at Rutgers since Quincy Douby dropped 35 on Iowa State his freshman year.
Rutgers is 3-0 entering Sunday’s game with St. Bonaventure.
(Photos courtesy AP and NOah Murray/ The Star-Ledger)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.