WASHINGTON, D.C. – Junior guards Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) and Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) each tallied 20-plus points, but it wasn’t enough as Rutgers (4-5) fell to George Washington (7-1), 93-87, at the Smith Center Wednesday evening.
Seagears’ 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting marked a new career-high, while Mack’s 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting signaled a new season-best. Junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) and senior forward J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y.) joined the duo in double digits, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively. Jack was 6-of-8 from the field.
Redshirt senior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to spark the Scarlet Knights defensively.
Rutgers made 50.8 percent of its field goal attempts on 31-of-61 shooting, including a 48.1 percent mark (13-of-27) from beyond the arc. George Washington shot 52.6 percent (30-of-57) and 50 percent (6-of-12) from long range.
The Scarlet Knights jumped out to an early 11-6 lead at the first media timeout with the help of seven points from Mack and two slam dunks from Jack.
RU maintained its advantage, with Mack posting two more points on a layup with 12:30 on the clock in the opening half, to make it 18-15. Following two GW points, Seagears drained a three-pointer to give Rutgers a 21-17 lead with 11:02 on the clock.
The Scarlet Knights stretched their advantage to six, 29-23, at 8:18 via two D’Von Campbell (Arlington, Texas) three-pointers and a Seagears jumper.
The Colonials tied the game at 29 before taking a 31-29 lead with 5:03 to go in the half on a Joe McDonald dunk. Despite RU shooting 56.5 percent in the opening half, GW took a 38-36 edge into the locker room at the midpoint.
In the second half, the Colonials started on a 10-3 run to push its lead to 48-39 with 16:01 left in regulation. After trailing 53-43, Seagears scored seven straight points for Rutgers to cut the lead to 54-50 at 12:46. The Scarlet Knights were unable to trim the GW advantage to less than three points for the remainder of the contest.
The Colonials shot an impressive 68.2 percent (15-of-22) in the final 20 minutes and made 4-of-7 from behind the arc to seal the victory, which was also aided by 19 second half points via the charity stripe.
Rutgers returns to the hardwood on Sunday (Dec. 8), taking on in-state rival Seton Hall at the RAC in an 8 p.m. tip-off. The game will be televised live on ESPNU. Prior to the contest, Rutgers baseball great David DeJesus, now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, will sign autographs from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. It will also be “Football Ticket Discount Night” at the RAC.
• Junior guard Jerome Seagears scored a career-high 23 points, the third time this season and 19th time of his career that he has scored in double figures.
• Seagears has now scored 20-plus points twice in his career.
• The 23 points for Seagears were a new career-high. His previous best was 21 vs. Connecticut on Jan. 27, 2013.
• Seagears’ five three pointers were a new career high for most in a game. He had posted four on two occassions, most recently vs. William & Mary (Nov. 23, 2013).
• Seagears’ nine field goals are a new career high. His previous best was eight vs. Connecticut on Jan. 27, 2013.
• Junior guard Myles Mack posted a team-high 26 points. It marks the sixth time this season and 44th time in his career that he has scored in double figures.
• The 26 points for Mack is a season-best. His previous was 23 vs. Stillman (Nov. 25).
• Mack has now scored 20-plus points twice this season and nine times in his career.
• Mack tied a career-high with five made three-pointers. He had previously done it twice, most recently vs. Stillman (Nov. 25).
• With Mack and Seagears both had 20 or more points. The last time that happened was vs. Stillman College on Nov. 25, 2013, when RU had three players (Mack, Judge, Moore) with 20-plus points.
• Redshirt senior forward Wally Judge grabbed 10 rebounds, his third time in double-figures this season and eighth of his career.
• Junior forward Kadeem Jack recorded his team-high seventh and eighth dunks of the season in the first half.
• Jack scored in double figures, posting 12 points. He has scored in double figures in all eight games he has played in this season.
• Junior guard Myles Mack scored the first Rutgers points of the game. Five different players have registered the first points for RU through eight games – Seagears, Jack, Mack, Moore and Judge.
• Junior guard D’Von Campbell made the first start of his career.
• Eddie Jordan went with the starting lineup of guard D’Von Campbell, forward Wally Judge, forward Kadeem Jack, guard Myles Mack and forward J.J. Moore for the first time this season.
Rutgers Head Coach Eddie Jordan
On George Washington’s screens on offense: “We had a number of days to practice on it and we got better and better in practice. We lost our discipline in the second half, midway through the second half. We just lost our discipline guarding their screen action. We’ve got to be really sharp and alert. They just keep running it and running it. They do it throughout the clock just to break you down and eventually they think they’re going to break you down. That’s what they did. We’ve got to stay disciplined defensively to guard their screening action and we didn’t do it.”
On not getting offensive rebounds: “We just didn’t do it. I don’t want to single anybody out. It was a situation where we said part of our zone offense is offensive rebounding because there are not one-on-one box-outs. You have alleys, you have creases where you can go in and get some running starts to offensive rebound. Again, they just took the physical game to us and we didn’t respond. We certainly didn’t respond. I thought we were there at first, but they just wore us down and we just lost our discipline and we didn’t raise the bar physically coming down the stretch.”
On the play of the guards, especially Jerome Seagears coming off of the bench: “Again, we thought that if they had the 1-3-1, there were creases where you can be aggressive driving. We pushed the ball after misses or after makes. We had opportunities to push it. I think they wanted a slower tempo game and we wanted a higher tempo game, a faster tempo, and we were pretty successful doing it in the first half. Then, we just couldn’t get breaks when they went to the free throw line and they were getting offensive rebounds and we just couldn’t get the juice going again.”
On if the other players got in a funk when Mack and Seagears were scoring so much: “They shouldn’t. Our offense was geared to getting the ball in the paint. We just didn’t match them physically. If you’re not willing to hit first, then you’re not going to have the advantage. They certainly hit us first more consistently.”
On whether or not he wants Kadeem Jack to take more than the eight shots he took: “I just want him to be effective, and if it’s 6-for-8 and we win, then I’m happy with 6-for-8 from the field if we win. He has got to put himself in position. We have opportunities for him. He’s one of our core scorers and I’m not going to overlook a core scorer, never have and never will. He has got to do part of his job to seek it out and to take advantage of it.”
On D’Von Campbell and how he played in a starting role: “We had a good start with him in the game and we had good bench play with Jerome coming off. It’s just something we wanted to try, that’s all.”
On if the team had positives from tonight: “I thought we had some positives out there. I thought we had an aggressive posture and presence. We just didn’t play longer and harder than they did. That’s one of our mantras is you play longer, harder and smarter than the opponent. They just kept wearing us out and we lost our discipline and we didn’t play harder than they did coming down the stretch. I don’t know, it wasn’t a real message, just normal day-to-day practices that we need to get better.”