Oxford, Miss. (December 1, 2012) – Despite 15 points from sophomore guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) and a perfect 7-of-7 shooting performance from senior wing Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.), the Rutgers men’s basketball team dropped a 80-67 decision at Mississippi on Saturday afternoon at the Tad Smith Coliseum in the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge.
Miller finished the game with 14 points, as sophomore guard Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) added 10. Redshirt junior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) neared a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.
Ole Miss’ Murphy Holloway notched 17 points and 15 rebounds. Marshall Henderson paced the Rebels with 18 points.
The Scarlet Knights came running out of the gate, scoring 10 of the first 12 points. During the run, Miller posted two baskets and dished to Mack for an open three in the far corner, giving RU a 10-2 lead 15:58 to play in the half.
The Rebels fought back to even the game at 12 apiece with just under 11 minutes to play in the stanza. The Scarlet Knights led by as many as eight – after a 6-0 run finished by Miller in the lane with 1:47 to play – heading into the locker room with a 36-32 advantage.
Ole Miss scored 10 of the first 14 points after the break to take its first lead of the game, 42-40. Buckner and Holloway combined for eight over the spurt. With the contest knotted at 55-55 after a monster slam from Judge, the Rebels broke off a 14-2 run to make the score 69-57 with 5:37 to play.
Rutgers heads to the World’s Most Famous Arena next for the MSG Holiday Festival, where the Scarlet Knights will take on Iona. Tip is set for approximately 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 and the contest will be televised on MSG2.
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- Dane Miller totaled 14 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting performance. The last Scarlet Knight to shoot 1.000 from the floor (min. five shots) was Hamady Ndiaye at DePaul on Feb. 16, 2010 (6-for-6).
- It signaled Miller’s first double-figure showing since Sacred Heart. The wing has scored 10-plus 47 times over his career.
- For the fifth-straight game, Mack posted double-figures with 15. The sophomore paced RU in scoring for the first time this season and the seventh of his career. Mack added six rebounds and five assists.
- It marked the fifth time over his career (and fourth-straight) that the guard has scored 10-plus in the first stanza with 10.
- With the loss by Rutgers, the BIG EAST holds a 7-3 lead over the SEC in the SEC-BIG EAST Challenge and wins the event for the third-straight year.
- This marked the first meeting between RU and Ole Miss. The Scarlet Knights move to 6-14 over the SEC and drop to 1-2 in the SEC-BIG EAST Challenge.
- Rutgers had three-plus players post double-digits for the third time this season. The Scarlet Knights move to 2-1 when three or more players score 10-plus.
- Wally Judge paced the Scarlet Knights in rebounding for the fourth time this season with nine.
- For the third-straight contest, RU posted 30-plus points in the paint (30).
- Six Scarlet Knights posted five-plus points.
MIKE RICE POST-GAME QUOTES
“We probably should have been up some more points with how poorly they shot free throws in the first half. We just couldn’t execute as well as we probably should have. We contained as much as you’re going to contain a tremendous offensive rebounding team. We defended them well in the first half, but you need to be up eight to ten points to have some cushion to defend against their runs…We blinked. You don’t blink against this team and we certainly did. Guys stepped up for them and made plays. I like 75 percent of what we did but the other 25 percent showed some of the weakness of this team, which is a touch soft. We are going to have to remedy that in the next couple of weeks to compete against some of the teams we face throughout the year.”
On Eli Carter:
“You are not going to win many games with one of your best scorers going 1-for-12. Once the ball didn’t go in for him, he started to chase a little bit, to hunt a little bit and not share the game. Not let the offense and his teammates help him out to get even better shots. He’s going to be our leading scorer, him and Myles (Mack). He has to understand that when the ball doesn’t go in, it’s the same. You can’t start hunting, you can’t starting going one on five. You have to follow the formula and he certainly didn’t do that. He played hard. We’re just not going to win many games when he goes one for 12.”
On the early intensity and technical fouls:
“It’s BIG EAST-SEC basketball. It was an early conference game, basically. Like Andy (Kennedy), I don’t mind a little passion, a little intensity. I think we need more of it to be honest with you, a little more togetherness. That’s part of the game. It’s part of being in the BIG EAST or SEC, where you are going to have that type of intensity or that physicality. They certainly bring physicality. They’re always hitting. When you have those veteran guys who understand that hitting first is always better than reacting, you’ve got something.”
On RU’s 16 three-point shot attempts:
“That’s settling. They will allow you to attack because they are out in the passing lanes a little bit. You can get to the lane, it’s just now what are you going to do with (Reginald) Buckner. I even thought that some of our drives were immature. You can’t drive for yourself against a team like Ole Miss. You have to drive and penetrate to pass. These are things you work on with young guards.”