Rutgers was preparing to add a tally for the conference during the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Scarlet Knights let a double-digit lead in the second half slip away during a 68-61 loss to Miami at Watsco Arena in Coral Gables, FL on Wednesday night. For a team that is hoping to make an impact come March, the performance down the stretch with the lead was uneven.
Paul Mulcahy (shoulder) missed his fourth consecutive game and his absence was glaring once again. Rutgers closed out the game shooting just 3-for-19 from the field. Over the final 13 minutes, it committed seven turnovers and got away from what helped build a lead that put the team in position to win.
Cliff Omoruyi finished with 16 points and nine rebounds while shooting 7-for-10 from the field. In the second half, it was clear that the Scarlet Knights wanted to get him involved and this is when he was able to score 10 of his 16 points.
Miami was able to get in the paint early on and score at the rim. The Hurricanes began just 1-for-11 from three-point range but made up for it at the basket, where they outscored Rutgers 36-28. The Scarlet Knights continued to struggle from close-range, missing eight layups.
All stars for Miami were on full display. Isaiah Wong finished with 16 points while Norchad Omier totaled 17 points and nine rebounds. Despite shooting just 3-for-12, Nigel Pack might have hit the two biggest shots of the game. First, he brought Miami to within a tie with a three before nailing his second of the game late to put the Hurricanes up 66-61. This came after a missed layup for Aundre Hyatt, who finished with 11 points.
Caleb McConnell was more aggressive in his second game back. Early on, he made his presence felt on both sides of the ball. He finished with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
With McConnell and Mulcahy in the lineup together, which is something we have not seen this season just yet, the Scarlet Knights will look a whole lot different. Against Miami, the Scarlet Knights were rock solid for 30 minutes but will have to be able to close out games like this.
Rutgers will be back in action on Saturday to begin Big Ten action as Indiana comes to Jersey Mike’s Arena.