Piscataway, N.J. (December 4, 2012) – Winners of four of its last five games, Rutgers (4-2) travels to the World’s Most Famous Arena to meet Iona Saturday evening at approximately 9 p.m. in the 2012 Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival presented by Foot Locker. The contest will tip-off 20 minutes after the court is cleared following the St. John’s versus Fordham game to open the doubleheader at 7 p.m. The match-up with the Gaels marks the final of four contests during a five game stretch to be played away from the RAC.
The game will be televised live in the New York Metropolitan market on MSG+ and MSG2, with Don La Greca calling the action and Vin Parise providing the analysis. Steve Gelbs and Jon Rothstein will report during the telecast. 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, as well as on Sirius channel 106 and XM channel 196. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the game.
The Scarlet Knights have played in the ECAC Holiday Festival at MSG on nine occasions dating back to 1974 and have a 9-9 all-time record in event. Last season, RU defeated Stony Brook 67-58 behind Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.), who shot 7-of-8 and 6-of-6 from the free throw line to score a then career-high 22 points. A stingy Scarlet Knights defense held the Seawolves to 26.7 percent (16-of-60) shooting.
Saturday evening’s match-up marks the fourth meeting between Rutgers and Iona on the collegiate hardwood, with the Scarlet Knights holding a 2-1 advantage. All three prior games took place at the RAC, including a 66-51 win in the most recent match-up on Dec. 16, 2006. RU is 55-20 all-time against current members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
Rutgers is coming off an 80-67 loss at undefeated Ole Miss in the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge on Saturday afternoon. The Rebels shot 53.3 percent (16-30) to out-score the Scarlet Knights 48-31 in the second half to earn the victory. Senior wing Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.) was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field to score 14 points. Mack also performed well for RU, shooting 5-of-10, including 3-of-6 from behind the arc, to score 15 points with six rebounds and five assists.
Mack leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (13-14 .929), while also placing 8th in field goal percentage (32-56 .571) & 15th in scoring (14.8). Miller is second in the BIG EAST in FG% (19-29 .655), while fellow senior Austin Johnson (Elkins Park, Pa.) ranks fourth at 65.5 percent (19-29). Sophomore guard Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) ranks second in the BIG EAST in FT% (30-33 .909) and 11th in scoring (16.7).
Iona, under the leadership of third-year head coach Tim Cluess, is 3-3 after a 64-62 loss at St. Peter’s Wednesday night. IC led by as many as 11 points in the first half. The Gaels, who earned a 94-68 win over Wake Forest at the 2012 Ezybonds Global Payments USVI Paradise Jam, ranked second nationally in free throw percentage, ninth in three point field goals per game and 10th in scoring offense to begin the week. Senior guard Lamont Jones was fourth nationally in scoring.