The Scarlet Knights and Black Knights traded the lead 19 times, but the final one sent the home team into 2014 with some energy. Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan did not draw up anything elaborate on the game-winning shot, and simply let Mack take over. Mack ripped off an NBA-range three-pointer with three seconds left to win it.
"I saw how much time was left on the clock, so I waited until it was seven or some seconds and I lulled him to sleep and I just pulled up and it went in," Mack said.
Mack took over for Rutgers in the second half with hustle and alertness. He scored 16 of his team-high 18 in the second half, including the final six points of the game for the Scarlet Knights.
"That just shows his mental toughness, his will to be a leader, his will to take over a game," said senior Wally Judge. "A lot of guys crumble under that type of pressure. … I guess he channeled his inner Damian Lillard."
Army had a final opportunity to send the game into overtime, but Kyle Wilson's open look rimmed out at the buzzer.
"It's not disappointing, it's the way games are," Jordan said on the victory. "There's a lot of games out there that turn different ways. How about the Ohio State, Notre Dame game? Come on. That's basketball. A lot of things happen."
Rutgers (6-7) did not have the ideal non-conference campaign in Jordan's first season, but has two straight wins going into the American. The return to action takes place New Year's Day against Temple.
"You won the game, move on," Jordan said. "Now this game, winning this game isn't going to help us make a shot in the next game. I don't think it will help us defend. It's just improvement in every area that we have to do, whether we lost or won tonight. We've just got to move on and you can't hang your head on this one and say ‘Look, we're going to hang our head on this one, we're in the driver's seat against Temple and Louisville.' No, it doesn't work that way."