PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers (7-9, 1-2) returns to the friendly confines of the RAC on Wednesday (Jan. 15) to host UCF (9-5, 1-2) in a 7 p.m. tip-off. It will be Dollar Dog Night at the truncated pyramid, as fans can purchase hot dogs for a dollar each (minimum five per transaction). Both the Scarlet Knights and Golden Knights will be seeking returns to the win column after suffering conference road defeats.
The game will be televised live nationally on ESPNews with Robert Flores calling the action and Bruce Pearl providing the analysis. On the radio, the contest will be broadcast live on the Rutgers IMG Sports 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. On satellite radio, the game will be on Sirius 108 and XM 190. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the game.
Wednesday evening’s contest marks the first meeting between the schools on the collegiate hardwood. The Scarlet Knights travel to Orlando for a second match-up on Feb. 26.
Rutgers is coming off a 71-51 loss at now nationally-ranked Cincinnati on Saturday night. The Scarlet Knights trailed by just two (34-32) after a hard-fought first half, but shot just 23.1 percent (6-of-26) in the final 20 minutes. Junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) scored a game-high 17 points and junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) added 10 points and nine rebounds. The Bearcats benefitted from 40 free throw attempts (31-of-40), while RU had 21 opportunities (11-of-21) at the charity stripe.
Mack, who has 996 career points, needs four points to become the 40th player in Rutgers men’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point marker. He ranks first in the American Athletic Conference in free throw percentage (.867), fourth in assists (4.3), fifth in scoring (16.3), tied for fifth in steals (1.9), eighth in three-point field goals made (1.9) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.4).
UCF, under the leadership of fourth-year head coach Donnie Jones, dropped an 84-61 decision at UConn on Saturday night. The Huskies established a 50-34 rebounding advantage and limited UCF to 31.3 percent (20-of-64) shooting. Senior guard Isaiah Sykes, who has a team-best 15.1 scoring average, posted 17 points for the Golden Knights, who had 14 shots blocked. Senior guard Calvin Newell leads the conference in steals, with 2.1 per game.