West Virginia Beats Down Rutgers at RAC

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Rutgers basketball team did not put up the showing it hoped for in its Big East home opener. Falling behind early, the Scarlet Knights put up a poor showing against West Virginia, losing, 85-64, to drop to 0-2 in the conference.

The Rutgers team that stunned Florida last week was nowhere to be seen tonight at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Since turning the clocks to 2012, the Scarlet Knights are degrading as quickly as they caught fire.

Following a road loss to South Florida, Rutgers tanked in the first Big East home game of the year, losing 85-64 to West Virginia.

"We certainly showed that we have a glass jaw when they started making Big East plays," said head coach Mike Rice. "... They become very quiet and very passive. We still were doing some things, [but] you can't miss that many free throws and expect to stay in the game."

With the only rally coming after digging themselves into a 25-point deficit at halftime, Rutgers was never truly in the game.

After putting together a 10-0 run to open the second half and cut the lead to 15 points, Rutgers resorted to ill-advised three-pointers and killed itself with fouls.

"I appreciated the guys who had some pride in the second half," Rice said. "But there's just not enough right now on this team."

For Rutgers, the statistics are just as ugly as the final score.

With an assist/turnover ratio of 2:12 in the first half, Rutgers committed 31 personal fouls in a game that lasted two hours and 14 minutes.

Freshman guard Elijah Carter led Rutgers in scoring for the third consecutive game, scoring 19 on 6-for-14 shooting. Freshman Derrick Randall scored two points and had four boards in 20 minutes in his first career start and forward Kadeem Jack scored his first career basket in five minutes off the bench.

"Remain focused, remain positive," said junior leader Austin Johnson. "It was a rough game."

The road only gets rougher in January for the Scarlet Knights (8-7, 0-2). Hosting No. 8 Connecticut Saturday in the return of Jim Calhoun, they then go on the road for Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

"We'll see on Saturday if it's a step back," Rice said. "With this team, you just keep grinding. You're just trying to get as many guys playing with poise and purpose and toughness as you possibly can. ... I know one thing, I will get their attention tomorrow."

Scarlet Report Top Stories