RU Suffers Second-half lapse, Falls at UConn

Rutgers played tough in the first half but it didn't last as it fell to No. 9 Connecticut 67-53 Tuesday at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. The Scarlet Knights allowed the first 12 points of the second half and were outscored 20-2 during the decisive opening 10 minutes of the second half.

It was a situation Rutgers lived through once already in the young Big East season.

The Scarlet Knights played a solid first half at a top 10 team's arena, then experienced a second-half meltdown that resulted in a loss.

No. 9 Connecticut scored the first 12 points of the second half and came out of intermission on a 20-2 run to defeat the Scarlet Knights 67-53 Tuesday at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.

The second-half struggles mirrored the Big East season-opening loss at Villanova, when the Scarlet Knights (10-6, 1-3 Big East) led by four points at the half but were outscored 11-0 to open the second half.

"I thought we responded as immaturely, as soft as we've played all season, to the point where I thought some guys actually quit on the floor," Rice told reporters after the game. "That's very disturbing."

Rutgers suffered through a woeful shooting performance.

The Scarlet Knights were 3 of 17 from 3-point range. shot 34.5 percent from the field and missed its first nine shots of the second half as the Huskies turned a 32-27 lead into a 44-27 route as the Scarlet Knights went 4:15 without a point.

"We understand we're undermanned at times, (and) undersized at times," Rice told reporters after the game. "It doesn't mean you stop fighting, stop playing for your teammates, stop having pride."

Connecticut (13-2, 2-2) was led in scoring by Kemba Walker, who hit for 18, which is nearly eight below his national leading average of 25.8 pointers per game. Huskies center Alex Oriahki had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Rutgers freshman Mike Poole was the only player double figures. He scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds while leading scorer Jonathan Mitchell scored four points on 2 of 12 shooting.

Rutgers returns to action Saturday against No.19 Georgetown at noon at the Rutgers Athletic Center.


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