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Rutgers Scores Big in the Second Half, Beats Providence 85-72

James Beatty caught the pass, squared and swished a three.  On the next possession, he did the same thing and capped off an 8-0 run to start the 2nd half, and put the Scarlet Knights up 6 points. 

They didn't look back after that.

More after the jump...

Jonathan Mitchell took over the game, and did it without his usual 3 point shooting.  He attacked Providence's zone, got in the paint and made a living there.  He finished the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds.  Austin Johnson scored a career high 16 points, including 4 of 5 from the line.  He was the recipient of some great passes as Rutgers broke down the Friars' press.  

Rutgers was able to control the tempo nearly the entire game.  Marshon Brooks was able to get his, 29 points in all, but Providence was only able to shoot 30 percent overall--25 in the second half.  RU forced turnovers, attacked the basket, and played smart.  Their defense was in the Friars' face the entire game, and they frustrated the team, and the fans. 

This was a scratch and claw game.  Rutgers had to endure the press the entire game, and finally was able to tear it to shreds in the second half.  They made smart decisions, knowing when to push for a fast break, and knowing when to pull the ball out and slow the game down. 

Five Scarlet Knights scored in double figures.  The Knights played for each other and made Coach Mike Rice a happy camper, as he got his first career Big East win.  If Rutgers continues to play the way they've been, and get some smart scoring, they're going to win their share of games in the Big East. 

The was a quality win for a team that started 0-8 in league last year.  Providence moves to 0-4 in conference, while Rutgers improves to 1-2.

Next up is a tough match-up with UConn in Hartford.  Rutgers has only beaten UConn once, back in 2002.

Here's Mike Rice's press conference.