Piscataway, N.J. –Rutgers (13-11, 4-9) remains on the rugged road of the BIG EAST to meet Villanova (16-10, 7-6) Monday (Feb. 18) evening in a 9 p.m. tip-off at the 6,500-seat Pavilion. The Scarlet Knights and Wildcats will be working on quick turnarounds, as both squads are coming off Saturday afternoon road contests. RU traveled directly to the City of Brotherly Love from Chicago after suffering a 75-69 loss at DePaul, while VU earned a 70-61 win at UConn. The 9 p.m. tip-off versus Villanova is the first of three straight late night starts for Rutgers.
The game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPNU and via the web at WatchESPN.com with Adam Amin calling the action and LaPhonso Ellis 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.
Monday evening’s contest marks the 38th meeting between Rutgers and Villanova on the hardwood dating back to 1932, with the Wildcats holding a 28-9 advantage in victories. The Scarlet Knights are 2-11 on VU’s home floor and 5-15 in BIG EAST regular season play versus the Wildcats. The teams have squared off twice in each of the past two seasons. The last meeting occurred in the opening round of the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden, with Villanova capturing a 70-49 victory. The Scarlet Knights could not overcome a shooting performance in which they made 29.1 percent (16-55) of their field goal attempts, including 12 percent (3-of-25) in the second half. Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) was the only Scarlet Knight in double figures, scoring 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
Despite a career-best 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from sophomore guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.), the Scarlet Knights could not pull out the victory at DePaul on Saturday. Mack scored 16 consecutive points for RU with under eight minutes to play, but the Blue Demons posted nine of the contest’s final 12 points to seal the victory. Junior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C) added 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting with six rebounds. DePaul had four players in double digits while grabbing 17 offensive rebounds to establish a 16-11 advantage in second chance points.
Carter suffered a fractured fibula in his right leg during Saturday’s game at DePaul and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. He will be further evaluated by orthopedic personnel later this week.
Mack leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (.917) and three-point field goal percentage (.451), while also placing eighth in steals (1.75) and 11th in field goal percentage (.502). He is first among the league’s guards in field goal percentage. In conference only games, sophomore guard Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) paces the BIG EAST in three-point field goal percentage (.452).
Villanova, under the leadership of 12th-year head coach Jay Wright, used a 16-2 second half run to defeat the Huskies in Hartford. Freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono scored a game-high 25 points and forward Mouphtaou Yarou contributed 11 points and 16 rebounds. Villanova out-rebounded UConn 41-25, including 20 offensive boards. VU is 11-1 when scoring 70 points or more and 5-9 when failing to reach 70. In conference only games, the Wildcats lead the BIG EAST in rebounding margin (+5.0), while placing second in field goal percentage defense (.390).