The Seton Hall Pirates have lost the Boardwalk Trophy after losing the Garden State Hardwood Classic 70-63 against their arch-rivals, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Pirates got out to a rough start and were unable to recover from that, and Rutgers ended up taking back the trophy after Seton Hall had won it two straight years.
For the Pirates, it felt as if this team did not play with the intensity required in a game of this magnitude, and the Scarlet Knights played harder than they had all season long. For both of these teams, this was desperation time, this was both of their final chances to redeem their weak performances in conference play. Seton Hall was then walked all over by Rutgers and their physicality, and a lot of it had to do with a strong performance by the Scarlet Knights, but something was just off about Seton Hall and their performance.
Noah Fernandes led the way in scoring for Rutgers with 19 points, and they got a star showing out of Cliff Omoruyi who had been struggling all season long. The big man had 11 points, 13 rebounds, and a whopping seven blocks on the night. He immediately made his presence felt with early defensive pressure, and it felt that the Pirates could barely get anything done in the paint with him around.
These Pirates were banking on him continuing to not play well, but in this type of showdown, a player like him is going to show up. Seton Hall on the other hand, the players that needed to come alive in this game, did not do that at all. And now, the trophy is back in New Brunswick, but here are three takeaways for these Pirates.