Rutgers Takes DePaul to the RAC

After Saturday night's contest, there is only one team that remains winless in the Big East, and unfortunately that distinction belongs to DePaul, as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights easily disposed of the Blue Demons (75-56) to drop the Demons to 0-9 in the Big East and 8-14 overall.

Rutgers (10-12 overall and 1-8 in the Big East) used a 20-5 run after intermission to bury DePaul to the outer recesses of the Big East conference. Rutgers was paced by both Jaron Griffin's and Mike Rosario's 16 points. Rutgers tied its season high with 31 field goals. They easily got the ball into the post while scoring 40 points in the paint. DePaul's best post presence Mac Koshwal had one of his worst games of the season with only five points and six rebounds.

"(Rutgers) Won the battle of the glass (DePaul was out rebounded 42-29) when they had to execute at a high level," said DePaul Head Coach Jerry Wainwright. "Mac was surrounded today and they did an excellent job of defending him and being physical with him. We had no way to score inside when he was guarded that way."

Woeful shooting compounded with countless defensive lapses doomed DePaul from the start. Rutgers kept DePaul at bay for most of the first half and at one point had a 25-13 lead in the first half with 8:45 to go. DePaul would close the gap to five points at the break 33-28. According to who you ask it could have been a lot better or worse as neither team scored a field goal in the remaining 3:31 minutes of the game after Will Walker nailed a three-pointer to make it a five-point game.

Rutgers Head Coach Fred Hill said that his team always hits a lull at one point in games, and tonight for them the last five minutes of the first half his team did not execute.

However, Hill complimented the team's spirit to roar out after the half.

"They (Rutgers) came out in the second half and took it to them on the defensive end and we executed and made shots," explained Hill. "When you get somebody down, you stretch the lead. I thought for the first time tonight we really did a good job of that."

A usually inconsistent shooting group, Rutgers was determined not to fall into last place and shot a commendable 50.8 percent from the field for the game, while shooting 35 percent from three point territory. On the other hand, DePaul was a dreadful 34.5 percent from the field for the game and 29.4 percent from beyond the arc.

DePaul cut the deficit down to 13 with 4:51 to go, but Rutgers responded with more timely shooting from the perimeter as Griffin nailed two three-pointers within the next two minutes to give Rutgers a commanding 67-50 lead with 3:07 to go.

"I think the hardest thing, is that you have to make things happen. You can't wish they are going to happen," said a disappointed Wainwright after the game. "We just can't score right now."

DePaul was led by a game high and season high 23 points from Walker. Dar Tucker was the only other Blue Demon in double figures with 14 points, but only connecting five of 17 field goal attempts.

Wainwright said that good teams need to have balance and at this point the team is relying too heavily on Tucker, Walker and Koshwal.

"We are struggling right now that all of our points really come from three guys, and until we get a fourth and fifth to score, it puts an awful lot of pressure on Tucker, Koshwal and Walker," Wainwright commented.

Up next for the Demons is a home date with the Marquette Golden Eagles on Tuesday.

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