PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Redshirt junior Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds in his first game in Scarlet, but it was not enough as Rutgers dropped a 56-52 decision to St. Peter’s in the season opener Friday night at the RAC. RU shot 35.8 percent (19-53) and committed 18 turnovers in the defeat.
Judge was three-of-five from the field and five-of-seven from the charity stripe, while playing a team-high 33 minutes.
Senior wing Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.) complemented Judge by shooting four-of-five en route to nine points with 12 rebounds. He added a team-best four assists.
Senior forward Austin Johnson (Elkins Park, Pa.) also scored in double digits, posting 10 points on five-of-seven field goals with five rebounds.
Rutgers played 11 men in the first half in an effort to find a rhythm that never arrived. The Scarlet Knights shot one-of-11 to begin the contest, but was well within reach thanks to a stingy defense. Down 7-2 early, the Scarlet Knights established a pair of four point advantages in the opening half, before entering the locker room at the midpoint with the game tied at 22.
An early spurt in the second stanza provided the Peacocks a 29-24 lead, but RU responded. The Scarlet Knights deposited 18 of the game’s next 24 points to take a 42-35 advantage with 10:27 remaining.
The visitors held tough, however, and knotted the game at 48 with under two minutes to play. A clutch three-pointer with 1:09 on the clock, combined with a perfect four-for-four performance from the foul line in the final seconds, enabled St. Peter’s to escape with the victory.
The Scarlet Knights out-rebounded the Peacocks by a 43-22 margin.
Rutgers returns to the hardwood Monday (Nov. 12) evening to meet Sacred Heart in a 7:30 tip-off at the RAC. The game will be streamed live on RVision Presented by AT&T.
- The Scarlet Knights dropped to 13-2 in their last 15 home openers. It marked the first home opening loss since 2006-07 vs. Kansas State (55-41).
- The win pushes Rutgers all-time record in season openers to 73-28
- RU drops to 11-3 against St. Peter’s, losing for the first time since a 65-58 road loss on Nov. 25, 2007. Against the MAAC Conference, the Scarlet Knights now hold a 55-20 overall record. . In battles of New Jersey, Rutgers rises to 118-113.
- Head coach Mike Rice cycled 11 RU players into the game in the first half.
- The Scarlet Knights recorded their lowest point total in a half (22) since posting the same mark last season against USF (Jan. 1).
- Rutgers shot its lowest percentage from beyond the arc (15.4) since shooting 14.3 percent last season against NJIT (Dec. 22, 2011).
- In the first game of his RU career, redshirt junior Wally Judge posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. He scored his first bucket with 10:58 remaining in the first half. It marked the ninth time in his collegiate career the forward has posted double-figures. He grabbed double-digit rebounds for the third time in his career.
- Senior Dane Miller started the 80th game of his career for the Scarlet Knights.
- Miller recorded at least 10 rebounds (12) for the 16th time of his career.
- Jerome Seagears, Eli Carter and Myles Mack each scored fewer than 10 points in the season opener. At least one of them scored in double-digits in all but three contests last season.
- Junior college transfer Vincent Garrett logged two minutes in the Scarlet Knights opener, the first minutes of his career. He finished the game with one rebound.
- The 18 turnovers marked the most since at Marquette on Feb. 22, 2012 (24).
MIKE RICE POSTGAME QUOTES
“The negative characteristics of last year’s team resurfaced. Whether it was selfish plays, plays that we need to execute … or softness. If you need to stop something bad on the offensive end, you can’t let it change the way you defend. Give St. Peter’s a ton of credit. Coach Dunne always has a tremendous gap-oriented defense and it’s hard to penetrate off the first pass.”
On What He Told the Team Postgame:
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m interested to see how they respond. We’re going to probably amp up practice a bit with toughness drills and we’ll do something, but again it’s the same things I’ve talked about and probably a lack of buy-in.”
On If He Was Shocked:
“This was a little shocking to be honest to you. I thought maybe not finishing 22 shots in the paint against Holy Family [was shocking], but I kind of liked the shots. This was a shocker and it’s something that I’m going to learn from and I’m going to make sure our guys learn what they didn’t do. They didn’t respond, and I give St. Peter’s tremendous credit on the toughness that they showed.
On Eli Carter, Jerome Seagears, and Myles Mack:
“They didn’t play very well. Credit St. Peter’s, credit their individual matchups. We’ll have to remedy some of the mistakes. They’re good people and great kids, they just have to become a little tougher and a little but more disciplined.”