Piscataway, N.J. – Rutgers (11-4, 2-2) hosts 2012 NCAA Tournament participant USF (9-6, 0-3) this Thursday (Jan. 17) evening in a 9 p.m. tip-off at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights are looking to begin BIG EAST play with a 3-2 mark for just the second time since joining the league in 1995-96, matching the 3-2 start to begin the 1999-00 conference campaign.
Several exciting ticket promotions are available for the contest. Family 2-Packs are available that offer two upper level tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas for just $30.00. It’s also Faculty/Staff Night at the RAC, with Rutgers faculty and staff receiving a $10.00 discount on all tickets. In addition, the “Top 10 for 10” promotion is available for the game, which enables fans to purchase 300 level tickets in the top 10 rows of select sections of the RAC for just $10.00. To take advantage of these promotions, please call the Rutgers Athletics Ticket Office at 866-445-GoRU (4678).
The game will be produced in high definition and televised live nationally on ESPN2 with Bram Weinstein calling the action and Dereck Whittenburg 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, as well as on Sirius 93 and XM 199. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the game.
Thursday evening’s contest marks the 12th meeting between Rutgers and USF on the hardwood dating back to 1996-97, with the Scarlet Knights holding a 6-5 advantage in victories. RU is 4-1 at the RAC versus USF and 4-5 in BIG EAST regular season play against the Bulls. Last season, Rutgers came up just short, 67-65, despite 23 points from Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.), in a back-and-forth BIG EAST opener at USF. The game featured 12 lead changes and 10 ties. Eight lead changes took place in the final three minutes of the contest. Carter poured in 18 second half points and shot nine-of-18. Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) chipped in 14 points off the bench and Derrick Randall (Brooklyn, N.Y.) notched 10 points on four-of-five shooting.
Rutgers is coming off a 68-58 loss to No. 21/20 Cincinnati Saturday evening at the RAC, RU’s third nationally-ranked opponent in four games to open BIG EAST play. The Scarlet Knights limited the Bearcats to 37.7 percent (20-53) shooting, but were victimized by 19 second chance points. Mack shot 4-of-8 and 3-of-5 from behind the arc to post a team-best 15 points.
Mack leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (.925), while also placing fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.491) and eighth in both steals (1.93) and field goal percentage (.542). He is first among the league’s guards in field goal percentage. Carter is second in free throw percentage (.897) and ninth in scoring (16.1). As a team, the Scarlet Knights lead the conference in free throw percentage (.741).
USF, under the leadership of sixth-year head coach Stan Heath, suffered a 64-38 loss at No. 3/4 Louisville on Saturday, marking the Bulls second-lowest point total in school history. Victor Rudd was the only player in double figures, posting 10 points. Rudd leads the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game and is third in the BIG EAST in rebounding (7.9). Anthony Collins is third in the BIG EAST in assists (7.0). The Bulls rank 13th nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense, limiting foes to 27.9 percent shooting from behind the arc.