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.
Big Win for Rutgers in Trenton; Carolina Hammers MSU
Big win for Rutgers Wednesday night against Rider in Trenton.
Had the Scarlet Knights lost, it would’ve been their third in four games and raised real questions about the fate of this season.
Rider led 60-57 with 2:07 remaining, but Anthony Farmer hit a 3-pointer to tie the game and Earl Pettis hit two more clutch 3-pointers in the final minute to insure a 66-62 victory at the Sovereign Bank Arena.
“I expected to win tonight,” Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “I know our guys expected to win. We’re at a point right now where every night we take the court we expect to win, regardless of the opponent. Give Rutgers credit, they hung in there and they played better than we did in the last 10 minutes of the game, and that’s winning time.“I think we let one get away. Pettis stepped up and made two big shots with the game on the line.”
Rutgers freshman guard Mike Rosario from St. Anthony finished with 25 points, hitting 6 of 12 from beyond the arc, and freshman big man Greg Echenique scored a career-high 15 points to go with 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. Rutgers was 10-of-28 from 3, the team’s highest 3-point total since hitting 15 against Syracuse on Feb. 1, 2006.
Mike Ringgold of Philly Roman Catholic had a career-high 22 points and 12 boards for Rider (3-2), which beat Rutgers last year at the RAC. Ryan Thompson added 15 for the Broncs.
At 5-2, Rutgers needs to win out in its next five games to get to 10-2 before heading to No. 1 North Carolina Dec. 28 in what could be a brutally one-sided affair.
The Tar Heels absolutely hammered No. 13 Michigan State, 98-63, Wednesday in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.
Tyler Hansbrough finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Wayne Ellington scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half and Ty Lawson had 17 points, eight assists and seven steals.
After that, the Knights have a brutal opening stretch in the Big East that includes a home game against No. 3 Pitt; at No. 2 UConn; home to No. 25 Marquette; home to No 16 Syracuse; at Cincinnati; and home to No. 11 Louisville.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see Rutgers drop five or six of those tilts in a Big East that features eight Top 25 teams.
(Photo, Dempsey quotes courtesy Rider sports information)
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.