In an electric (100% serious) environment at the RAC, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights dropped a close contest to the Monmouth Hawks by a score of 73-67.
Rutgers hung tough for a good part of the first half and kept the game close. Monmouth wound up going on a little run and scored a last second layup to go up 37-31 at the half.
In the second half, Monmouth took over. They were doing jsut about everything right. They made layups, three-pointers, and foul shouts. Withh 11:32 left in the game, Monmouth converted a huge alley-oop and the RAC erupted in cheers. That seemed to be the nail in the coffin.
However, Rutgers tightened up and closed up the deficit to 9. Brick by brick, they got back in the game. Down 1, Mike Williams drew a foul going into a timeout. The RAC erupted once again, this time for the home team. He made one of the two free throws and the game became tied.
However, Rutgers was never able to get the lead and Monmouth continued to make easy shots and free throws. With 29 seconds left and down 69-67, Mike WIlliams missed a wide open three-pointer from the corner. Combine that with the missed free throw and it was evident that Rutgers was not destined to win this game, let alone have the lead. Mounmouth got fouled and made their free throws down the stretch to lock up the game.
Rutgers should be incredibly proud of the way they fought at the end. However, they are really not a good basketball team. Corey Sanders led all scorers with 16 points, but shot 3-11 from the field. He was 9-10 on free throws. As a team, Rutgers shot 30%. That is horrendous. Combine that with the fact that I witnessed a Division 1 college basketball player (no names)
miss AIR BALL a breakaway layup.
Rutgers fans were weak as well. The students were there, but only about 1 1/2 rows were standing up. That is unacceptable. Additionally, none of the other fans seemed to care about the game. It had the atmosphere of a Monmouth home game. There were significantly more MOnmouth students there who actually gave a sh*t about the game than Rutgers students. I was even yelled at by a dad sitting behind me with his daughter. He told me to "sit the hell down so I can watch the damn game". I was standing up after Bishop Daniels made a huge jumper with under 8 minutes left in the game. If you, sir, are reading this: Don't come to a basketball game ever again. We don't need fans like you.
Otherwise, I had a fun time at my first hoops game of the season. Go Knights!