Freshman guard Elijah Carter took a shot to the head on a missed layup, but no whistle led to an easy transition basket for Louisville and an explosion from Rice after he called a timeout. Rice continued to argue his case with referees after picking up a technical foul and it led to an ejection in a 78-66 loss to 25th ranked Louisville.
"Coach Rice was fighting for the team," said associate head coach David Cox on WCTC's post-game radio show. "We all thought that a call should have been made. ... We thought we saw his arm getting hit"
Cox took over head coaching duties for Rice for the final 30 minutes and kept the Scarlet Knights within 10 points most of the way. The Cardinals slowly pulled away behind 23 points from Chane Behanen and dominated with 15 more rebounds than the Scarlet Knights.
"They showed some fight," Cox said. "Guys showed a lot of fight. If it wasn't for Blake Griffin on the other team .... Chane Behanan destroyed us."
Carter led all scorers with 24 points on the day, shooting 9-for-17 in 35 minutes.
Unfortunately for Rutgers, Carter also led Rutgers in rebounds with six. Post players totaled just four rebounds for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers also go no offensive production in the post, with the power forwards and centers combining for nine points and nine fouls.
Rutgers (12-12, 4-7) is slowly fading after its hot Big East start and needs a win Wednesday against Seton Hall to stay in the race for the top half of the conference. With just one true win on the road this season, the Scarlet Knights still have three road challenges in the final seven games of the regular season.