In the postgame radio interview, Mike Rice said Rutgers blinked, then curled up and went away. Other fans used the phrase choke. Basically, the Scarlet Knights blew it to a team that was 1-6 in the Big East. The Knights fell to 3-5 in the Big East after blowing an 11 point second half lead.
Not much good happened here tonight, but there'll be more info after the jump....The first half was sloppy basketball, falling right into the way the Blue Demons wanted to play. Usually a pressing team, DePaul held off and played solid man to man which clearly flustered Rutgers. Eli Carter (7 total points) illuminated that fact on the final possession of the half. With a chance to score a late bucket and go up 7 points, Carter dribbled around the key looking for an opening to the basket. Unable to find it, he threw the ball into the stands. Rutgers held a five point lead at half. Jerome Seagears played well, ending up with 14 total points, 12 in the first.
In the second half, Rutgers looked much crisper, as they forced turnovers and pushed the lead to 11. Myles Mack paced the Knights with 22. Unfortunately, that's when it started to fall apart for Rutgers. Jamee Crockett, a player who averaged 6 points a game, and was stricken with 4 fouls with more than ten minutes left, caught fire. He hit 5 three pointers and clearly surprised RU. At the same time, Rutgers was unable to get that fifth foul on him. They were unable to get the ball to whomever he covered, and if they did, that person would not drive to the hoop.
Once the defense adjusted for Crockett, it opened up the offense for Cleveland Melvin to dunk the ball or Brandon Young to drive to the hoop. The Scarlet Knights never recovered.
Overall, just an ugly game. Not much time to recover now as the Bearcats, a very good road team, come to the RAC on Saturday night.