New York, N.Y. – Five Scarlet Knights scored double-figures, as Rutgers bested Iona, 81-73, Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in the 2012 Holiday Festival. The Scarlet Knights (5-2) fought off a late rally by the Gaels and were led by sophomore guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.), who posted 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and a personal-best seven rebounds.
“We told our guys at every time out that they’re not going away,” said head coach Mike Rice. “They are going to push the game at a hectic pace. We don’t need to play hectic. They will allow us to find the openings. We didn’t do that, but we made winning plays at the end. The Wally (Judge) block and the Myles (Mack) finish, with some free throws. We certainly bent, but we didn’t break. It’s certainly good to have Mike Poole back playing his brand of Rutgers Basketball.”
Junior guard Mike Poole (Rosedale, N.Y.) notched a career high 18 points on 7-of-9 field goals, including 10 points over the first 20 minutes. Senior wing Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.) recorded his first double-double of 2012-13 with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) and redshirt junior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) rounded out the double-digit scoring with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Iona (3-4) was led offensively by Lamont Jones with 26 points, including a perfect 14-of-14 effort from the charity stripe. RU was able to overcome a season-high 25 turnovers in the win.
The two teams struggled offensively over the first 12:15, shooting a combined 10-of-36 from the field. The Scarlet Knights rebounded to make eight of their next nine shots and take a 35-23 lead into the locker room. The 20-7 RU run was sparked by the play of Poole, who had eight points over the spurt.
Iona hit back-to-back baskets after the break to pull within seven, 35-28, but Rutgers answered with a 10-0 run, including eight from Mack, to hold a 45-28 cushion with 16:38 to play. A 10-2 spurt led by Miller and Poole pushed the Scarlet Knights to their largest lead of the game, 64-42, at the 10:31 mark.
The Gaels would not give in, ripping off a 27-6 run to come within one, 70-69, with under three minutes to play. After a huge block by Judge, Mack completed a three-point play on the break to give the Scarlet Knights breathing room and push the score to 72-69.
After two free throws by Jones put the Gaels within one, 72-71, Mack came up big again, grabbing a steal and converting a fast-break lay-up on the other end to give the Scarlet Knights a lead they would not relinquish.
The Scarlet Knights limited Iona to 38.1 percent (24-63) shooting on the night.
Rutgers returns home after a 21-day hiatus on Tuesday, Dec. 11 to take on Atlantic 10 Conference-member George Washington. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at The RAC. The game will be televised live on SNY.
* Myles Mack (19), Mike Poole (18), Dane Miller (13), Eli Carter (12) and Wally Judge (10) all scored in double-figures for Rutgers. It marked the first time five Scarlet Knights tallied double-digits since Dec. 12, 2011 vs. Monmouth.
* Mike Poole bested his career high with 18 points. The junior posted double-figures for the first time this season and the 13th of his career, including 10 in the first half. Poole had 13 total points coming into the game.
* Poole also set personal bests for field goals made (7) and three pointers made (3).
* Dane Miller tallied his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The senior has 13 double-doubles over his career. It also marked a season high in rebounds.
* Miller has scored double-digits in two-straight contests and 48 times over his career.
* Myles Mack and Eli Carter have recorded double-figures in each of the last six contests.
* The 25 turnovers signaled a season high for RU and marked the most since Nov. 30, 2008 vs. Saint Peter’s (28).
* The Scarlet Knights rise to 3-1 when three or more players score double-digits and 2-0 when four or more notch 10-plus.
* Rutgers advances to 4-1 when outrebounding its opponent.
* Wally Judge totaled 10-plus points for the third time this year and the first since Sacred Heart (Nov. 12)
* Rutgers held Iona to .276 shooting in the first half, the second time a Scarlet Knight opponent has shot under 30 percent in a half this season (Sacred Heart).
* The Scarlet Knights move to 10-9 all-time at the ECAC Holiday Festival at MSG.
* RU rises to 3-1 all-time against IC and 67-51 against current members of the MAAC.
* Malick Kone earned his first start in a Scarlet Knight uniform.