Piscataway, N.J. – Rutgers (10-3, 1-1) returns to the rugged road of the BIG EAST to meet metro rival St. John’s (9-5, 1-1) Wednesday evening in a 7 p.m. tip-off at Madison Square Garden. The Scarlet Knights and Red Storm are both coming off victories over nationally-ranked foes. The last time RU and the Johnnies played coming off wins over nationally-ranked opponents was on March 6, 2003 at MSG, after RU downed No. 9 Notre Dame 95-82 and STJ edged No. 6 Duke 72-71. St. John’s won that meeting 75-59.
It marks the second time this season that RU will play in the World’s Most Famous Arena after an 81-73 victory over Iona on Dec. 8 in the Holiday Festival. The Scarlet Knights are 3-3 at MSG under head coach Mike Rice, including 2-1 in regular season play. Rutgers and St. John’s last met at MSG during the 2011 BIG EAST Tournament, with the Red Storm capturing a 65-63 win.
The game will be produced by the BIG EAST Network and televised live in the New York Metropolitan market on MSG and via the web at WatchESPN.com with Mike Corey calling the action and Bob Valvano 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.
Wednesday evening’s contest marks the 39th meeting between the schools dating back to 1974 with the Red Storm holding a 25-13 advantage in victories. The Scarlet Knights are 6-13 in BIG EAST regular season play versus the Red Storm and 3-11 on the Johnnies’ home court. Last season, Rutgers earned a 61-58 win over St. John’s at the RAC in the regular season finale for both squads. A put-back slam dunk by Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.) with 11.2 seconds remaining provided Rutgers a critical 59-58 edge on senior night. Miller finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) posted a team-high 15 points and sank a pair of free throws with 2.7 seconds on the clock to secure the victory.
Carter made 8-of-9 free throws en route to a game-high 23 points off the bench in helping Rutgers to a 67-62 win over No. 22/24 Pittsburgh this past Saturday afternoon before a national television audience at the RAC. With the victory, the Scarlet Knights have defeated four of the last six nationally-ranked opponents to enter the truncated pyramid. Fellow sophomore guards Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) and Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) complemented Carter well. Seagears dished-out six assists in a starting role and scored seven points on 2-of-3 shooting with four rebounds. Mack made 4-of-7 field goals to score 11 points with five boards. The Scarlet Knights made 57.1 percent (22-43) of their field goal attempts and limited the Panthers to 37.5 percent (21-of-56) shooting. RU also out-rebounded their foes by a 36-24 margin.
Carter was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday after averaging 21.0 points while shooting 90 percent (9-10) from the free throw line and 13-of-27 from the field to help RU to a 1-1 record last week. He paces a Scarlet Knights offense that leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage, while ranking third in field goal percentage. Carter leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (90.4), while also placing sixth in the conference in scoring (17.5). Mack is second in the league in free throw percentage (90.0), eighth overall and first among guards in field goal percentage (56.6), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (48.0) and seventh in steals (2.0).
JaKarr Sampson scored 16 points and D’Angelo Harrison added 15 as St. John's knocked off No. 14/15 Cincinnati 53-52 Saturday afternoon, courtesy of a defensive effort that held the Bearcats to just 31.7 shooting. The win marked the Red Storm's eighth victory over a ranked opponent in the Steve Lavin era and the seventh with the third-year head coach on the sidelines. Harrison, who was also named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Monday, leads the BIG EAST in scoring (21.6), while freshman Chris Obekpa is the national leader in blocks (5.1).