Herb Pope had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Pirates (16-8, 5-7 Big East), and hit a 3-pointer with 2:52 remaining to put Seton Hall up for good at 51-50. Brandon Mobley added 10 rebounds for the Pirates.
The Scarlet Knights (12-13, 4-8), who lost their third straight and fifth in their last six games, got 14 points from Mike Poole and 13 from Eli Carter.
In a game that had eight lead changes and four ties, Rutgers took a 50-48 lead on Dane Miller’s 3-pointer with 3:08 remaining.
Pope answered with his 3-pointer for the final lead change, starting Seton Hall on a 10-1 run that gave the Pirates their largest lead of the game at 58-51 with 19 seconds remaining.
The game was halted for five minutes with 3:26 remaining when an altercation between the teams resulted in a personal and two technical fouls on Seton Hall and one technical on Rutgers. Television replays showed that Pope head-butted Carter during the skirmish, but no further action was taken beyond the technicals.
Once everything was settled, Rutgers made 3 of 4 free throws to cut it to 48-47 before Miller hit his go-ahead 3-pointer.
With the Super Bowl champion Giants’ star receiver Victor Cruz sitting in the front row, Seton Hall won for the first time since beating DePaul on Jan. 10. The Pirates shot just 42.9 percent (21 for 49) with 19 turnovers, but held Rutgers to 31.5 percent shooting (17 for 54) and just 29.6 percent (8 for 27) in the second half.
Seton Hall led for nearly the entire first half, opening its largest advantages at 8-2 and 19-13. With the Pirates up 24-19, the Scarlet Knights closed with a 9-2 run for a 28-26 halftime lead.
Rutgers held the edge despite shooting just 33.3 percent (9 for 27) and committing eight turnovers in the half. Seton Hall shot 47.4 percent (9 for 19) but had 13 turnovers.
The second half went back and forth until Seton Hall’s late run.