PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers (9-14, 3-7) remains on the rugged road of the American Athletic Conference to meet USF (12-11, 3-7) in an 8 p.m. tip-off on Saturday (Feb. 8). It is a key league match-up for the teams, as they will be competing to receive a first round bye in next month’s AAC Championship. The Scarlet Knights will be seeking a return to the win column and to earn their first road victory this season. The Bulls will be working to earn back-to-back victories and to capture their third league win in four games.
The game will be televised live nationally on ESPNews with Mike Patrick calling the action and Len Elmore 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.
Saturday evening’s contest marks the 13th meeting between Rutgers and USF on the hardwood dating back to 1996-97, with the Scarlet Knights holding a 7-5 advantage in victories. RU is 2-4 on the Bulls’ home floor, however, having dropped the past two in Tampa, including a 67-65 decision on New Year’s Day 2012 at the St. Pete Times Forum. The last Rutgers victory at USF was a 65-51 decision at the Sun Dome on Feb. 18, 2006. Quincy Douby shot 11-of-18 and 5-of-7 behind the arc to post 33 points. Last season, Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) shot 7-of-8 to score 14 points in helping Rutgers to a 70-67 win over USF at the RAC. After trailing at the break, the Scarlet Knights shot 51.5 percent (17-33) in the second half to secure the victory. RU committed a season-low six turnovers and out-rebounded the Bulls by a 32-28 margin.
Rutgers is looking to bounce back from a 101-69 loss to No. 24 Memphis at FedEx Forum on Tuesday night. The Scarlet Knights shot 53.1 percent (50.0 percent from beyond the arc) in the second half, but the Tigers shot 59 percent overall and 63.2 percent from behind the arc to earn the victory. Junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) led the Scarlet Knights with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
USF, under the leadership of seventh-year head coach Stan Heath, earned a 79-78 overtime victory at UCF on Wednesday night. Guard Shemiye McLendon sank the winning free throw with 0.8 seconds left before purposely missing the second try. Senior forward Victor Rudd, who scored eight of USF’s nine OT points, shot 11-of-19 to post 25 points, while also grabbing 10 rebounds. Rudd ranks 10th in the ACC in scoring (15.0) and eighth in rebounding (6.7).