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Rutgers Hangs With--But Falls To Louisville, 83-76

The press was just too much for the Scarlet Knights

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers battled.

For the first time since 2006, Rutgers showed up against one of the best teams in the league--the long, pressuring, reigning National Champion Louisville Cardinals.

The Scarlet Knights jumped out to a 9-2 lead early, and had the large RAC crowd rocking.  Myles Mack had one of the more impressive first halves, playing 18 minutes and scoring 13 points and logging in 4 assists.  He was there and he wanted to win.

However, the Cardinal press said otherwise.  Mack turned the ball over 5 times in the first half, and the press continually gave Rutgers trouble.  A total of 19 turnovers and 46 Louisville free throws killed Rutgers.

Still, down 17 about halfway through the second half, Rutgers did not roll up into a ball.  They scrapped and clawed and pulled back to within six.  Rutgers ran their offense, and needed and injured Jerome Seagears to play most of the second half.  They were able to get past the half court line and score.  Craig Brown scored 17 and really developing under Eddie Jordan.

But Russ Smith was too much, money at the line, and Rutgers couldn't get over the hump.

But these two games, Temple and Louisville, have started to be a silver lining for Rutgers.  Now they need to build on this, get better, and not get too down on themselves.