Rutgers showed weaknesses and struggled often against UNC Greensboro today, but managed to gut out a victory thanks to some swift shooting by Myles Mack in the second half.
Mack scored a career-high 24 on an impressive 82 percent clip and led the Scarlet Knights to a tough 87-80 victory over the Spartans.
A slight favorite going in, the sophomore guards Mack and Elijah Carter proved unstoppable in the second half.
“Gritty, tough New Jersey guards,” said head coach Mike Rice on his post-game interview with WCTC. “Whether it was pulling up from three, whether it was getting to the lane, they carried the load tonight.”
Tied at 63 with eight minutes to play in the game, Rutgers pulled away with a flurry of free throws and some tough defense. Rutgers recorded steals in back-to-back possessions and began exploiting advantages in the paint.
The Scarlet Knights and Spartans traded points going into the final minutes before Wally Judge and Myles iced the game with a monster dunk off a pick-and-roll followed by a long-range bomb.
“The last six minutes, you can tell the difference,” Rice said. “Our guys were a little bit quicker to the ball, our guys were a little bit fresher. … The resolve and the toughness that this team showed, and they defended the three so much better than we have in previous games. There’s a lot of positives to take from this game.”
Carter added a season-best 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting in the victory.
Rutgers (4-1) returns to action Saturday at Mississippi as a part of the Big East/SEC Challenge.