Rutgers Earns Road Win, Beats DePaul, 68-64

Rutgers got back in the win column as Jonathan Mitchell scored 18 points to lead the Scarlet Knights past DePaul 68-64 Wednesday at Allstate Arena. It moves the Scarlet Knights to 14-15 heading into Saturday's regular season matchup, and also means Rutgers will play Seton Hall in the first round of the Big East tournament.

Rutgers still has a shot at a .500 record, and given the state of the program 10 months ago, that could be quite an achievement.

Thanks to Jonathan Mitchell's 18 points and a balanced scoring and rebounding performance by Dane Miller, Rutgers beat DePaul 68-64 Wednesday at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.

The win means Rutgers (14-15, 5-12 Big East) can finish the regular season .500 if it can win at 14th-place Providence on Saturday. It also secured Rutgers' place in the No. 12 vs. No. 13 game against rival Seton Hall in the first round of the Big East Tournament on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

"It was a complete team effort tonight," Scarlet Knights coach Mike Rice said on the Rutgers Radio Network. "It's nice to get a win."

Mitchell scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, including a pair of crucial free throws with 26 seconds left to put Rutgers ahead 65-62.

Miller added 12 points and nine rebounds, James Beatty had 13 points, Gilvydas Biruta had 12 points and seven rebounds and Austin Johnson had a career-high eight rebounds as the Scarlet Knights won a conference road game for the second time this season, and first time in three years.

DePaul (7-22, 1-16) was led in scoring Brandon Young's 21 points. Leading scorer Cleveland Melvin did not play because of a thumb injury.

"It's huge," Rice said. "You lose eight out of nine and people think you're not very good, you're not hustling, you're not improving. You look deeper, and six of those opponents were ranked in the top 15. Those are no excuses …The one thing I love about this team is they still have a hunger. They still have an urgency to improve and to win."

Rutgers never trailed, and built a 15-point lead on Miller's 3-pointer less than two minutes into the second half. However, DePaul answered with a 13-2 run, capped by Young's 3-pointer with 13:10 left, and pulled within 42-41.

The Scarlet Knights were able to get inside throughout the game, and took a 57-50 lead on Mitchell's 3-pointer with 5:06 left.

A dunk from Biruta with 1:41 left gave Rutgers a 63-57 lead, but five straight points allowed the Blue Demons to pull within a point before Mitchell's two free throws with 26 seconds left.

Still, DePaul had a chance to tie it, but Moses Morgan's 3-point attempt from the left corner missed the mark, Beatty rebounded and made two free throws to put Rutgers ahead 67-62 with 19 seconds to play.

Rutgers did not turn the ball over in the second half, and finished with nine turnovers.

"We weren't great offensively in the second half putting the ball in the (basket)," Rice said. "But we had such discipline, especially against a team like this. They turn you over with the best of them. I love the toughness and the togetherness of this team tonight."

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