Piscataway, N.J. – Rutgers (12-4, 3-2) travels to South Bend to meet No. 20/20 Notre Dame (14-3, 2-2) Saturday evening in an 8 p.m. ET tip-off at the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The Scarlet Knights have the opportunity to improve to 4-2 in BIG EAST play, which would be RU’s best start after six games since joining the conference in 1995-96. The Irish are the fourth nationally-ranked team RU will meet in its initial six league contests. After defeating USF, 70-67, at home in a 9 p.m. tip-off Thursday night, the 47-hour turnaround is the shortest of the season for Rutgers.
The game will be produced in high definition and televised live in the New York metropolitan market on SNY and via the web on ESPN3 with Lou Canellis calling the action and Sean Kearney 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.
Saturday evening’s contest marks the 32nd meeting between Rutgers and Notre Dame on the hardwood dating back to 1984, with the Fighting Irish holding an 18-13 advantage in victories. RU is 10-13 in BIG EAST regular season play against UND. The Scarlet Knights have a 2-11 mark on the Irish’s home floor, including eight consecutive losses. In the last meeting between the schools, No. 23/25 UND prevailed at home, 71-53, on Feb. 15 last season. Dane Miller (Rochester, N.Y.) posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, including 10 and 10 in the first half. The Irish attempted 32 free throws, depositing 24, while RU made six from the charity stripe on 10 attempts.
Redshirt junior power forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C) shot 7-of-8 to score 14 points in helping Rutgers to the 70-67 win over USF in the nationally-televised game at the RAC on Thursday night. The victory provided the Scarlet Knights a 3-2 record in league play, their best BIG EAST start after five games since also beginning 3-2 in 1999-00. Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) and Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) both contributed 13 points. Mack was 3-of-5 from behind the arc, while Carter was a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Fellow sophomore guard Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) dished-out a career-high tying seven assists while grabbing six rebounds. After trailing at the break, the Scarlet Knights shot 51.5 percent (17-33) in the second half to secure the victory. RU committed a season-low six turnovers and out-rebounded the Bulls by a 32-28 margin.
Mack leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (.925) and three-point field goal percentage (.500). He is also ninth in field goal percentage (.530), while ranking first among guards in the category, and 10th in steal (1.81). Carter is second in free throw percentage (.902) and ninth in scoring (15.9). As a team, the Scarlet Knights lead the conference in free throw percentage (.743).
Notre Dame suffered a 67-63 loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. Guard Eric Atkins shot 7-of-9 to finish with 21 points, but the Irish dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season. UND, which has been ranked as highly as No. 16 nationally, had won 12 in a row prior to the current streak. Notre Dame leads the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (.506), three-point shooting (.408) and assists (18.6 per game). Forward Jack Cooley is the BIG EAST’s leading rebounder (10.7 rpg) and is the only player in the league to average a double-double.