PISCATAWAY N.J. (February 9, 2013) – Despite not trailing No. 20/21 Georgetown (16-4, 6-3) by more than three points for the greater part of the second half, Rutgers (12-9, 3-7) could not pull out a late victory at the RAC, falling to the Hoyas, 69-63, on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore guard Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J) sparked the Scarlet Knights, finishing the contest with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting in 37 minutes of play. It was Carter’s eighth game this season scoring at least 20 points, and his first since at Notre Dame on Jan. 19.
Sophomore guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) knocked down three three-pointers in the second half and finished the game with nine points, while senior center Austin Johnson (Elkins Park, Pa.) and junior Mike Poole (Rosedale, N.Y.) chipped in eight points each.
Georgetown went 3-for-3 from the free throw line in the final 1:15 of the game, as the Hoyas outscored RU 7- 2 in that frame to escape the RAC with a victory.
Georgetown’s Otto Porter, who scored 19 points and five in the final 75 seconds, converted a 3-point play with 1:15 remaining regulation to give the Hoyas a comfortable four-point lead. After a Carter layup brought the game to 65-63, Porter again came through for Georgetown, going 2-of-2 from the line on a 1-and-1 opportunity. Those points made it 67-63 Hoyas at the 23.3 mark.
Georgetown held a 62-60 lead with under two-minutes to go, before a foul on junior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) put RU in the double-bonus and sent the 6-foot-8 forward to the free throw line. Judge knocked down one of two, to bring RU within one with 1:40 remaining.
The game went back-and-fourth for the majority of the second half, with neither team leading by more than three points from the 16:32 to 1:15 marks.
The Scarlet Knights found themselves down eight in the opening minutes of the second half, but were able to rattle off a 10-2 run, capped by a tip-in by Mike Poole (Rosedale, N.Y.) at the 12:59 mark. The score gave RU a 46-44 advantage, as both teams carried over their hot offensive performances from the first half.
After a late-half push by RU, the teams entered the locker room tied, 33-33. Down 25-18 with 6:33 to go in the period, Carter converted an acrobatic three-point play and three-pointer, and Seagears knocked down a three-pointer of his own to close out a 9-2 run.
With RU on a fast break later in the period, Mack found a flashing Johnson crashing hard down the lane, leading to an emphatic slam-dunk and Georgetown’s first timeout. The score brought the RAC crowd to its feet and made it a 15-15 contest with less than 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Carter, who scored in double-figures in the first half for the second straight game, started hot from the field, knocking down a deep 3-pointer followed by a runner in the lane to give RU an early 5-3 lead. Georgetown quickly responded with a hot streak of their own, knocking down three consecutive jumpers, including two from beyond the arc, to build a 10-2 run and 13-7 lead.
The Scarlet Knights close out their three-game home stand on Tuesday night at 7 p.m., when in-state rival Seton Hall visits the RAC. The game will be telvised live nationally on ESPN2. RU split the season series with the Pirates last season, winning the final meeting, 77-72, in double overtime at the Prudential Center.
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- For the 18th time this season, Eli Carter notched double-digits with 23 points. The sophomore paced RU for the 11th time this season.
- Carter posted double-figures in the first half for the 14th time in his career and eighth this season. It marked the second-straight game that the guard has scored 10-plus over the first 20 minutes.
- When Carter scored more than 10 in the first half, the Scarlet Knights are 5-3 this season.
- Carter totaled 20-plus points for the eighth time this season and 13th of his career. It marked the first time since at Notre Dame (Jan. 19) that the sophomore has reached the plateau.
- It marks the highest scoring total for Carter since Pittsburgh (Jan. 5).
- The eight team three pointers tied for the most this season.
- Myles Mack hit at least three treys for the ninth time in 2012-13.
- Wally Judge paced the team in rebounding for the team-best ninth time this season. Over the last two contests, the forward has averaged 7.5 rebounds.
- Scarlet Knights drop to 9-3 when shooting more free throws than its opponent.
- For the sixth time this season and first since USF (Jan. 17), Rutgers posted less than 10 turnovers with eight, including just three in the first half.
- RU falls to 3-7 when less than three players post 10 points.
- RU drops to 1-8 when shooting less than 40 percent.
- Head coach Mike Rice went with the starting lineup of Mack, Carter, Seagears, Judge and Johnson – his 10th different starting lineup this season.
- No Scarlet Knight has started more than 15-straight contests (Wally Judge).
- It marked Austin Johnson’s first start since Pittsburgh (Jan. 5).
- Rutgers moves to 16-28 all-time against Georgetown. At home, the Scarlet Knights own a 11-10 mark against the Hoyas.
Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice
Opening Statement: “In this league you have to make or create your opportunities. When you get those opportunities you have to finish them. There were too many missed opportunities – whether it be offensive rebounds, finishing [shots at the basket], a drive, a great possession. Georgetown is a very talented team and they don’t beat themselves. You have to go out and, again, and create opportunities. At times we took advantage, but in BIG EAST games you have to do it down the stretch, particularly in the last four minutes.”
On Otto Porter and the Georgetown offense: “As I have said before, he is so disciplined and patient in his offense. He just allows his team and the offense to come to him. He gets open looks. The last cut-and-post, [associate head coach David Cox] called it right in the huddle. They out-executed and out-toughed us there. Again, an opponent coming in here and shooting 57 percent is not good enough – you’re not going to win many games like that.”
On the state of the team: “We had passion and played for each other today. But when you lose, it takes the joy away from your everyday experience. You mope to class, you mope during training table, you’re fighting through practice because of the competition. When someone loses the competition you are not going to feel the joy or energy that winning gives. We have to get that back. The phrase ‘winning solves everything’ is a well-used phrase and it does. It brings the energy and joy. I like the compete we showed out there, but it doesn’t matter – you have to win. I look forward to Tuesday.”
Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III
On Grinding Out the Win: “It was a typical BIG EAST game. I think at halftime I said it to the guys, ‘It’s going to be one of those games where we’re going to have to grind it out, possession by possession.’ They are a very good team, and they’re well coached and they put so much pressure on you. Eli Carter is pretty good, huh? But we knew what it was going to be, we had to stay focused, and it was one of those games where we could tell early on it’s going to come down to the end and we’re going to have to make the plays at both ends of the court.
On the Team’s Foul Trouble: “We practice it all year and it’s played out all year. Guys have to step up. Nate [Lubick] was in foul trouble early and Mikael had one of his better games in a long time, and we needed it. And that was good, because we needed to production he gave us. Moses came in and had some good minutes. I thought he had a few bad bounces, but Moses came in and gave us some good minutes, AB [Aaron Bowen] came in and gave us some good minutes, so even though we were in foul trouble we were able to go deep into our bench and our guys can and have produced.”
On Cracking Down Defensively in the Second Half: “They are a good offensive team. We could sit here and talk about what we attacked and how we adjusted to change but I can’t remember a team shooting 50 percent against us in a long time. You can do the research on that, I could be wrong, but there were too many good offensive players that made open looks that they were getting. I think in the second half we were doing a slightly better job of not giving them the open looks that they were getting in the first half.”
On Otto Porter’s Performance: “Otto Porter is Otto Porter. I thought he was terrific, I always think he’s terrific. He made a couple plays and he came through and got two big rebounds when we needed him, but that’s what he does. He’s one of the best players in the country and the best players in the country come through when it’s winning time. He consistently comes through at winning time.”