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Mack Lifts Rutgers Past UNC-Greensboro, 89-72
  • Posted on December 14, 2013 6:37:04 PM
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  • Myles Mack
    Myles Mack had 21 points, eight assists and five steals.
    Will Schneekloth

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) shot 6-of-11 and 4-of-6 from behind the arc to score 21 points in helping Rutgers (5-7) to an 89-72 win over UNCG (5-6) Saturday afternoon at the RAC. With the weather frigid outside, the shooting inside the truncated pyramid was hot, as the Scarlet Knights made 50 percent (31-of-62) of their field goal attempts and an impressive 45 percent (9-of-20) from long range.

    Mack accentuated his performance by dishing-out eight assists, committing just one turnover, grabbing four rebounds and making five steals. The 21 points marked his fourth consecutive contest with 20 or more points, the first RU player to accomplish the feat since Jonathan Mitchell in 2010-11.

    Redshirt junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.), redshirt senior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) and senior forward J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y.) joined Mack in double figures. Jack was 8-of-13 to score 18 points, Judge was 6-of-6 to post 13 points with eight rebounds and Moore added 12 points.

    The Scarlet Knights dished out 22 assists on 31 baskets. Junior guard D’Von Campbell (Arlington, Texas) contributed to the effort by issuing seven helpers.

    Rutgers took an early 6-4 lead on a Campbell jumper and held the advantage for the remainder of the contest. The Scarlet Knights scored the final six points of the opening half to take a 52-33 buffer into the locker room at the midpoint.

    RU built is lead to as much as 23 points (67-44) after the break. The Spartans battled back to get their deficit to single digits (71-62) on one occasion, before a nine point RU run squelched any hopes of a comeback.

    A tenacious Rutgers defense helped to force 18 UNCG miscues. Thanks to the effort, RU established a 26-13 advantage in points off turnovers.

    Rutgers returns to the hardwood to host Army in a 2 p.m. tip off on Sunday, Dec. 22. The game can be viewed live on the web via ESPN3. It will be Military Day at the RAC versus the Black Knights. The first 1,000 fans will receive USA Block R magnets.

    POSTGAME NOTES

    • Rutgers is now 2-0 all-time against UNCG. The Scarlet Knights are now 5-0 vs. SoCon affiliates.
    • Rutgers had four players in double-figure scoring for the eighth time this season (Mack 21, Jack 18, Judge 13, Moore 12).
    • Junior guard Myles Mack posted 21 points, the first RU player to scored 20 or more points in four straight games since Jonathan Mitchell did it in 2010-11.
    • Mack now has 12 games with 20 or more points in his career and five this season.
    • Mack tied a season high with four rebounds. He has done it on two other occasions this season.
    • Junior forward Kadeem Jack scored 18 points, his 12th double-digit scoring game in his last 12 games played, dating back to the contest vs. Notre Dame on March 13, 2013 of last season when he tallied 10 points.
    • Junior guard D’Von Campbell finished with a career-high seven assists. His previous best was four, which he did twice.
    • Junior forward Craig Brown tied his career-high with eight points. He also scored eight at UAB (Nov. 11).
    • Freshman forward Junior Etou made his first career three pointer at the 13:35 mark in the second half.
    • Etou tied his career-high with six points in the game. He also scored six vs. Stillman (Nov. 25).
    • Rutgers led 52-33 at the half, its largest halftime lead since a 41-21 lead over Sacred Heart on Nov. 12, 2012.
    • The 52 points in the first half marked the fourth time this season RU scored 50 or more in a half. The squad scored 60 in the first half and 56 in the second half vs. Stillman College and posted 51 in the second half at George Washington.
    • Rutgers shot 50 percent (31-of-62), it’s fourth game at 50 percent or higher this season (Princeton, at George Washington, Stillman College).
    • Jack posted two blocks in the game, giving him a team-high 16 this season. He has 12 multi-block games in his career.
    • Jack threw down a dunk in the second half, his team-high 12th of the season.
    • Rutgers didn’t commit its first foul until the 11:06 mark in the first half.
    • Junior forward Kadeem Jack scored the first points for the Scarlet Knights. Five different players have registered the first points for RU through 12 games – Seagears, Jack, Mack, Moore and Judge.
    • Eddie Jordan went with the starting lineup of forward Craig Brown, guard D’Von Campbell, forward Wally Judge, forward Kadeem Jack and guard Myles Mack for the third-consecutive game.

    POSTGAME QUOTES

    Rutgers Head Coach Eddie Jordan

    Opening Statement: "It was a good start, good first half. We had a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm. We played with a lot of communication and we're glad that we put it together for most of the game and executed on both ends of the floor."

    On how it feels to win and win comfortably: "There were points in the game where we talked about, 'We need to separate, it's a nine-point game, an 11-point game, but we needed more separation.’ I thought once we got to 21, 22, 19, something like that, 23, that there was a little bit of a cushion. But then there was another challenge. We had to keep it now, we had to play. How do you play with a 23-point lead? You still don't take the first jump shot, you still move the ball, still try and get paint scores and you certainly have to defend. For the most part, we wanted to maximize our pick-and-roll package and I thought that helped us get the cushion early."

    On the play of Myles Mack: "Well you know, Myles had two teeth knocked out yesterday in practice, two half-teeth. I don’t know if you guys knew that. He hit the floor mouth-first and parts of two teeth came out. Our dentists did a great job of bonding them back and he came out like a warrior and competed. That's a double-whammy for him. It's a double-kudos."

    On the importance of getting the bigs involved: "You know just scouting them we wanted to exploit their pick-and-roll defense. They did a good job of showing the pick-and-rolls, but basically staying there so two or three dribbles on the guard, so we thought that we could drag it out and throw it back, so the show-guy, the five-man or the four-man, wouldn't be able to recover in the paint. That's what we wanted to do and we did that. We followed the game plan."

    On building on the win: "We have two days off then we come to practice with the same energy, same level of competitiveness so we can be prepared for Army next Sunday. That's a challenge, and again our practices have been pretty darn good and we have to bring that to the game. We can't get gun-shy."

    UNCG Head Coach Wes Miller

    On falling into a deficit: “We put ourselves into a pretty big hole there in the first half. You have to give Rutgers a lot of credit because they made some big shots and took advantage of us in transition. We turned the ball over too much. I thought a big difference in the game was us turning the ball over and them converting them into points. That put us in a deficit. I did think we had some nice stretches there in the second half, but it is hard to come back down 19 at the half.”

    On second half run: “We were able to cut the lead to nine on a free throw. I thought in the second half we did a nice job of getting the ball inside to get higher percentage shots. But we turned it over twice when it was at nine and they made two baskets. That pushed us away again. Playing catch-up in the last four minutes is tough.”

    On the defensive efforts: “I haven’t been pleased with (our defensive effort) – haven’t been pleased with it all year. Tonight was no different.”

    General thoughts: “I thought the team responded to some poor play in the first half and played with more togetherness in the second half. The effort and fight was there – I was proud of that. We have to get better if we want to compete in our league this year.”

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