PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers (10-16, 4-9) returns to the friendly confines of the RAC to meet 22/24 Memphis (19-6, 8-4) in a 7 p.m. tip-off on Thursday (Feb. 20). It marks RU’s third of three straight games against nationally-ranked opponents. The Scarlet Knights will be seeking a return to the win column. The Tigers, who have been ranked as highly as No. 11 this season, will also be working to bounce back from a loss and to earn their fourth win in five contests. RU’s last victory over a ranked foe was a 67-62 home win over No. 24 Pittsburgh on Jan. 5, 2013.
Thursday evening’s contest marks the highlight of the 2013-14 men’s basketball promotional calendar, as the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive an Eddie Jordan bobblehead.
The game will be televised live nationally in high definition on The CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan calling the action, Pete Gillen providing the analysis and Jon Rothstein offering courtside reports. 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/XM channel 85. WRSU (88.7 FM) will also broadcast the game.
Thursday evening’s contest marks the second meeting between the schools on the collegiate hardwood after Memphis downed Rutgers, 101-69, at FedEx Forum on Feb. 4. The Scarlet Knights shot 53 percent in the second half but were unable to overcome a 56-21 halftime deficit. Junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) was 5-of-11 from the field to score 12 points and also grabbed six rebounds.
Rutgers is coming off a 102-54 loss at 13/8 Louisville on Sunday night. Jack and junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) both contributed 10 points. The Cardinals shot 55.7 percent (34-of-61) and made 53.3 percent (16-of-30) from behind the arc in the victory.
Mack and Jack are both prominent among The American leaders. Mack is first in free throw percentage (.888), fifth in steals (1.8), seventh in assists (4.2) and eighth in both scoring (15.6) and assist/turnover ratio (1.6). Jack sixth in rebounding (6.8), ninth in field goal percentage (.502), 10th in blocks (1.3) 12th in scoring (14.2).
Memphis suffered an 86-81 overtime loss at No. 24 UConn on Saturday afternoon despite shooting 55 percent (34-of-62) and out-rebounding the Huskies by a 38-28 margin. UM was out-scored at the free throw line, however, 29-6. Senior guard Joe Jackson posted a season-high 24 points and dished-out seven assists. Memphis leads the AAC and ranks fourth nationally in assists (17.8).