This was a shake your head kind of game. Not a scratch your head game, a shake your head game.
Rutgers came out tight, threw away a few balls and let Marquette get a lead. Then RU's offense sputtered.
In the second half there was life, there was fight, and the deficit got cut to four, but it was never enough.
More after the jump...James Beatty dropped a career high 24 points and Gilvydas Biruta chipped in 12--even Robert Lumpkins had 10--but no other key players got into double digits, or even scored enough points to make an impact. Rutgers got the line 11 times, compared to 32 for Marquette.
Not only was the foul disparity clear, but the fouls on Rutgers came at key moments. Rutgers got to four, a foul would be called. Rutgers gets a stop? Foul. Missed travels. Missed up and downs.
And Marquette is a good team. They're long. They play good defense and they have a few players who can fill it up. At one point in the first half, Marquette was shooting 7-10 from three point land. It's tough to battle back when they can do that. RU was also outrebounded.
But despite being outplayed, RU scrapped and was able to keep within striking distance. It's clear the team needs a consistent scorer. Neither Jonathan Mitchell nor Dane Miller could get anything going. So Rutgers falls 73-65. They are 9-5 overall and 0-2 in the Big East.
Next up is another high scoring team in Providence. With the threat of lingering snow, and the Jets playing at the same time, the RAC crowd will probably be sparse. Hopefully RU can prevail.