Rutgers vs Seton Hall women’s basketball: Should the schedules meet again?

Tony Bozzella watched the men’s basketball programs at Seton Hall and Rutgers settle their differences and resume their rivalry and thought, “Why not us? “

The Scarlet Knights and the Pirates haven’t played in women’s basketball since 2017. Bozzella, entering his ninth season at the helm of the Pirates, would like to change that.

“I’m going to go there to relaunch the series,” he said. “We’re all talking about trying to promote women’s basketball. In New Jersey, what’s better than Seton Hall-Rutgers? We’re going to have awesome crowds, that will energize the fans and that would be great for recruiting. “

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The planning stars are aligned. On June 13, Bozzella posted on, a bulletin board used for planning purposes by college basketball coaches, seeking to start a non-conference home game with a major opponent.

On June 11, Rutgers also posted Finding a Home. “I’m looking for a very local game on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Can start on the road first,” the post from Rutgers read.

Seton Hall women's basketball coach Tony Bozzella shakes hands with Rutgers coaches after the WNIT game last March.

Bozzella reached out, but Rutgers wasn’t interested.

“Rutgers Women’s Basketball will not have a comment on the lineup philosophy at this point in the offseason,” the program said in a statement provided to the USA TODAY Network-New Jersey.

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Bozzella thinks it would be a big draw.

“Coming out of a pandemic year, we need to generate interest in our sport,” said Bozzella. “If the match was played at Walsh Gym, I guarantee a full hall (1,700 seats). I’m sure the RAC would have a lot of people as well. We could have all the AAU teams in the state there. It is a way to keep the Jersey children at home.

Both programs are coming off strong seasons. Rutgers finished 14-5 and competed in the NCAA tournament. Seton Hall went 14-7 and was third in the Big East before declining a WNIT offer.

Rutgers leads the all-time series 35-10 and has a 4-1 lead since leaving the Big East.

One of those wins was in the first round of the 2015 NCAA tournament, the other a memorable double-overtime triumph in the WNIT. The average attendance at these games, excluding the NCAA tournament game on neutral site in Connecticut, was 1,408.

“We talk a lot about equality in women’s basketball,” said Bozzella. “Why not start a tradition like the men’s? They have a great streak. It’s time for Seton Hall and Rutgers women’s basketball to have its own.

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