NYU Advances to ECAC Semifinals

More news about: New York University

The New York University men's basketball team, seeded #3 in the the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Metro Division III Championship, defeated #6 Rutgers University-Camden 68-65 in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, March 4, at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in Manhattan.

Trailing by two points with 16 seconds remaining, Ross Udine brought the ball up the court and nailed a three-pointer from the top of the arc to put the Violets (18-8) up 66-65.

"We trust the ball in Ross' hands. We had some turnovers, and he was part of that," said NYU Assistant Coach Nelson Albino. "But at the end of the game he made the right decisions. He attacked the basket and made some big shots."

On the following possession, the Scarlet Raptors (14-12) attempted a jumper in the key. Patrick Burns, who notched career highs in points (21) and rebounds (16), grabbed the game-clinching rebound and was then fouled by Rutgers-Camden. The junior forward, who added two steals and an assist, proceeded to ice the NYU win by sinking both of his free throws.

"Patrick showed unbelievable toughness. He had a monster game," continued Albino. "Rutgers-Camden is a tough, physical team. Patrick didn't back down. He accepted the challenge. He was great on the glass and made some big buckets for us."

The game was back-and-forth all night, as the Violets led by as much as 12 (34-22 with 1:28 left in the first half), but also trailed by as many as six, 62-56, with 1:33 remaining in the contest. Despite that, NYU was able to stay composed and come away with the victory by weathering the runs by the Scarlet Raptors and countering with runs of its own.

Specifically, after ending the first half up by 10 (34-24), the Violets found themselves on the wrong end of a Rutgers-Camden 14-4 run to start the second half. That was followed by an 11-0 NYU run, which was then countered by a 12-0 Scarlet Raptor run. Burns then took matters into his own hands. With 5:53 left in the game, he scored the next seven points to put the Violets up by six, 56-50.

Rutgers-Camden answered with another 12-0 run immediately following Burns' 7-0 spurt,

But,,NYU closed the game on a 12-3 run to seal the win.

"They amped up the pressure. It's part of their DNA," said Albino. "They forced turnovers late in the game. We played better against their pressure in the last 1:30. We did a better job of attacking the rim and taking care of the ball, and we were able to get a few buckets that way."


Evan Kupferberg tied a career high with a game-best 17 rebounds in a team-high 33 minutes. The junior forward also led all players with a career-high-tying four blocks and chipped in 10 points. He is now just nine points shy of 1,000 for his career.

Costis Gontikas finished with six points, six rebounds, one block, one steal, and one assist in 29 minutes.

- Udine finished with a game-best six assists to go with 11 points, one rebound and a block.

Hakeem Harris scored 12 points in 25 minutes before fouling out.

The Violets will live to see another day as they advance to the semifinals of the ECAC Metro Championship. NYU will face #2-seeded Rutgers University-Newark on Saturday afternoon, March 7, with tipoff scheduled for 2:15 pm. Both semifinal games on Saturday, as well as the final on Sunday, March 8, will be hosted by top-seeded Brooklyn College.