Piscataway, N.J. – After consecutive road games, Rutgers returns to the friendly confines of the RAC to host Providence in a 9 p.m. tip-off Saturday (Feb. 23) evening. The Scarlet Knights will be working to snap a two-game skid, while the Friars will be looking to bounce back from an 84-59 defeat at No. 8 Syracuse Wednesday night. It will be Letterwinners Night “On the Banks” as men’s basketball letterwinners from six decades will be recognized at halftime. The contest versus PC marks the second of three straight 9 p.m. starts for RU.
Fans have the opportunity to purchase upper level tickets for the game for only $9.00 by utilizing the promo code NINE. In addition, D.J. Yoshi returns to supplement the pre-game and in-game soundtrack. Attending students will have the opportunity to win prizes, including an iPad mini and a Brother Jimmy’s gift certificate.
The game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPNU and via the web at WatchESPN.com with Beth Mowins calling the action and Tim Welsh 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 128. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the game.
Saturday evening’s contest marks the 24th all-time meeting between RU and PC, with the Friars holding a 15-8 advantage in victories. The Scarlet Knights are 6-5 at home against the Friars and 8-14 versus PC in BIG EAST regular season play. Last season, RU dropped a 78-67 decision at Providence. The Scarlet Knights rallied from a 16 point deficit to get within four, but PC made a pair of three pointers and was a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe in the final minutes to ensure the victory. Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) scored 16 points off the bench, while Mike Poole (Rosedale, N.Y.) added 13 n a reserve role, to pace RU in the scoring column.
Rutgers is coming off a 71-63 loss at Villanova Monday night. Mack shot 7-of-11 to score 24 points while grabbing a career best eight rebounds, but it was not enough to overcome Villanova’s 56.5 percent (13-of-23) second half shooting. VU made 60 percent (6-of-10) of its attempts from behind the arc and scored 14 points off turnovers after the break to ensure the victory. Redshirt sophomore forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) also had a strong game for the Scarlet Knights. He was 6-of-12 from the field to post a career-high tying 12 points while cleaning the glass on seven occasions. Sophomore guard Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) joined Mack and Jack in double figures, contributing 10 points.
Mack leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (.914) and three-point field goal percentage (.452), while also placing eighth in steals (1.72) and field goal percentage (.509). He is first among the league’s guards in field goal percentage. In conference only games, Seagears paces the BIG EAST in three-point field goal percentage (.457).
Providence, under the leadership of second-year head coach Ed Cooley, has won four of its last five BIG EAST games, but suffered the loss at the Carrier Dome courtesy of a 31-4 first half run by Syracuse. Forward LaDontae Henton and guard Vincent Council both scored 15 points in the defeat. Council set the BIG EAST career assists record with his seven helpers at SU. Council has 431 assists in BIG EAST games, breaking the old mark of 426, which was set Syracuse’s Sherman Douglas from 1985-89. Guard Bryce Cotton leads the BIG EAST in scoring (20.0), while Henton ranks second in the league in rebounding (8.2). The Friars lead the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense (.286).