Myles Mack seemed to have the jitters.
Early in the game, he took some bad shots, got caught in traffic, and then eventually was replaced by Jerome Seagears. Seagears was there to pick up Mack. He got hot from 3, fed Junior Etou and opened up a lead for Rutgers. Seagears and Etou allowed Mack to breathe.
With just under four minutes left in the half, Mack got fouled, got to the lined and dropped in career points 999 and 1000. And he wouldn't look back. With Seagears and Etou continuing their sidekick antics, Mack took over the main stage. He scored 21 points in the second half. He finished with 25 points and 8 assists.
Rutgers lead most of the way, up as many as 13, but the UCF Knights never really went away as Isaiah Sykes notched 29 points, and the rest of the team did their damage from the free throw line. They whittled a 13 point lead down to four and seemed poised to get more.
But Rutgers regained their composure, put on a press, forced some turnovers and extended their lead again.
The Scarlet Knights were in foul trouble from the get-go. Kadeem Jack played only 10 total minutes before fouling out. Wally Judge was saddled with 4 fouls for most of the game, but was able to drop in 10 crucial points in the second half.
But the story was the three headed monster of Seagers (18 points), Etou (a gritty 14) and Myles Mack.
Rutgers will gladly keep riding that horse the rest of the way. They take a two game road trip to Texas next, with Houston and SMU on the docket.
Hopefully they can start to build some momentum.