Piscataway, N.J. - On a four-game winning streak, Rutgers (4-1) takes flight for the Magnolia State to meet undefeated Southeastern Conference-member Mississippi (5-0) on Saturday (Dec. 1) afternoon in a 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. local) tip-off at 9,061-seat C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum in the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge. The match-up with the Rebels marks the third of four contests during a five game stretch to be played away from the RAC. The Scarlet Knights won at Ivy League-favorite Princeton (Nov. 16) and at SoCon-favorite North Carolina-Greensboro (Nov. 25), and will travel to Madison Square Garden to meet Iona next Saturday (Dec. 8) evening.
The game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPNU, with Joe Davis calling the action and Joe Dean, Jr. providing the analysis. On the radio, the contest will be broadcast live on the Rutgers Radio Network, WOR 710 AM in New York and WCTC 1450 AM in New Brunswick. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the game.
Saturday afternoon’s match-up marks the first meeting between Rutgers and Ole Miss on the collegiate hardwood. The Scarlet Knights are 6-13 all-time against SEC schools. Last season, RU dropped a 55-50 decision to LSU at the RAC in the inaugural BIG EAST/SEC Challenge. In 2010-11, the Scarlet Knights downed Auburn 63-54 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh in the previously named SEC/BIG EAST Invitational.
Rutgers is fresh from a hard-fought 87-80 victory at UNCG Sunday afternoon. Sophomore guards Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) and Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) combined to shoot 18-of-26 to score 49 points. Carter made 9-of-15 field goals and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe to score 25 points, while Mack shot 9-of-11, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc, to post a career-best 24 points. The Scarlet Knights, who overcame a 10-point first half deficit, shot 57. 4 percent (31-54) and were 21-of-25 (84 percent) from the charity stripe.
Carter was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday after averaging 22.5 points, while shooting 56.0 percent (14-of-25) and a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line, to help the Scarlet Knights to a 2-0 record last week. He currently leads the BIG EAST and ranks 14th nationally in free throw percentage (95.7, 22-of-23), while also placing eighth in the conference in scoring (18.0) and tied for 10th in three-point field goals made per game (2.0).
Ole Miss, under the direction of seventh-year head coach Andy Kennedy, is coming off their fifth straight home victory, a 91-45 drubbing of Lipscomb on Nov. 23. Senior forward Murphy Holloway scored a season-high 23 points and the Rebels opened the game on a 17-2 run, while holding the visitors to 24.5 percent (12-49) shooting. Ole Miss boasts three players with double figure scoring averages, including junior guard Marshall Henderson, who deposits a team-best 17.0 points-per-game. The Rebels presently lead the nation in scoring margin (33.2) and turnover margin (9.6), while placing fourth in field goal percentage defense (32.8), fifth in scoring offense (88.4) and seventh in both three-point field goal percentage defense (22.5) and steals per game (12.2).