DALLAS – Despite grabbing more boards than the 10th-best rebounding team in the nation, Rutgers (8-11, 2-4) fell to SMU (15-4, 4-2), 70-56, on Tuesday night in Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs picked up the victory after holding the Scarlet Knights to a 32.7 shooting percentage.
Senior guard/forward J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y.) led Rutgers with 15 points. Junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) joined him in double-figures with 13 of his own. Redshirt senior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) finished one point and one rebound shy of a double-double, posting nine in each category.
RU out-rebounded the Mustangs, 34-33. Coming into the game, SMU ranked first in the American Athletic Conference and 10th in the nation with a +9.0 rebound margin.
The Scarlet Knights kicked off the scoring, as Moore drained a 3-pointer. With the game tied at 4-4, the Mustangs went on an 11-2 run, taking an early 15-6 lead with 9:55 on the clock in the opening half. Moore drained two free throws during that span.
Rutgers then went on 7-1 run of its own with the help of a 3-pointer and two made free throws from Mack, cutting the Mustangs’ lead to 16-13 with 8:26 left in the first.
SMU answered, compiling an 11-2 run for a 27-15 lead, extending to the 5:46 mark. Judge cut the lead to eight (27-19) at 5:07 with back-to-back buckets in the paint, including a fast break layup.
The Mustangs took a 36-25 lead into the half. Mack had 10 first half points, while Moore scored seven.
Moore scored the first points of the second half, throwing down a dunk to start things off. Later, the Scarlet Knights were able to trim the SMU lead to eight, 43-35, after a 3-pointer from junior guard Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) and a layup by junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) with 13:31 remaining.
SMU pulled away later, pushing its lead to 52-37 with 8:25 to go after a 9-2 run following Jack’s layup.
RU would get as close as 12 points (66-54) after two Jack free throws with 2:12 remaining, but wouldn’t be able to close the gap any further.
Rutgers returns to The RAC on Saturday, Jan. 25, taking on UConn at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free blackout t-shirt. Tim Sweeney from the Amazing Race and former RU baseball star will also be signing autographs pre-game from 5:45-6:45 p.m.
• Rutgers out-rebounded SMU, 34-33. Coming into the game, the Mustangs ranked first in the American Athletic Conference and 10th in the nation with a +9.0 rebounding margin.
• Senior guard J.J. Moore led RU with 15 points. He has scored in double figures 12 times this season and 33 times in his career.
• Junior guard Myles Mack scored 13 points. He has now scored in double figures in 11 straight contests. He has 16 double-digit scoring games this season and 54 in his career.
• Mack moved into 35th on RU’s career scoring list, now holding 1,049 career points. He passed Dane Miller (1,042) and Gene Armstead (1,046). He is now two points shy of Mike Rosario (2008-10), who scored 1,051 career points.
• Senior forward Wally Judge recorded a career-high three steals. His previous best was two, which he did four times.
• Judge dunked in the second half, his 10th of the season.
• Senior guard J.J. Moore recorded a dunk in the second half, his sixth of the season.
• Rutgers is 0-1 all-time against SMU.
• Eddie Jordan went with the starting lineup of forward Junior Etou, forward Wally Judge, forward Kadeem Jack, guard Myles Mack and guard J.J. Moore for the seventh-straight game.