Comeback Incomplete Against No. 22 Memphis

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers lost its third straight game with a 64-59 showing against No. 22 Memphis at the RAC. Rutgers showed improvement in another rematch, but 22 points and 10 rebounds from Kadeem Jack was not enough to get it done.

Rutgers continues to play better in home rematches, but it was not nearly enough to take down No. 22 Memphis. There was no repeat of the 32-point blowout from the FexEx Forum.

This time, Rutgers put up a few speed bumps before Memphis drove to a 64-59 victory at the RAC.

"We wanted to show that we belonged with top 25 (teams) after Memphis embarrassed us before," said junior Malick Kone, who set a career-high in minutes. "That's what we did. I'm proud of that, but we did not win and that is No. 1."

Junior Kadeem Jack put on a show for the NBA scouts in attendance, including the dribble-drive to make it 53-49 in the second half.

The 6-foot-9 forward and team captain outshined Memphis standout Shaq Goodwin with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Rutgers fell behind early to the Tigers. The deficit rarely exceeded double digits until the final minutes. Sticking around with a physical Memphis team through the majority of the game, the Scarlet Knights succumbed to defeat with 1:16 left in the contest.

Memphis guard Michael Dixon shook his defender with a ball screen, and his wide-open three-pointer made it an eight-point game. Dixon came off the bench to lead Memphis with 15 points in the game.

"We relaxed, but you have to give Rutgers credit," said Memphis coach Josh Pastner. "They play hard, are a good basketball club, are well coached and have good players. There is no excuse not to stay locked-in."

Jordan rewarded his hustle players with key minutes down the stretch. He did not make a sub in the final 10 minutes of the game, which were arguably the best 10 played by the Scarlet Knights all night.

"I wanted to use every guy," said Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan. "I wanted our guys to be a part of growing and coming together. But you put the rope out there, and guys who don't tow the rope the right way it's a short rotation. Again, it is trust and the guys who are going to do what we want to be done."

Forward Malick Kone and Craig Brown provided key hustle plays. Kone finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two steals in a career-high 30 minutes.

The loss marks three in a row by Rutgers (10-17, 4-10), which gets six days off before a trip to UCF.

"It gets to a point where you are just going to play the guys you really, really trust," Jordan said. "The guys who give great effort, the guys who are going to give the effort physically, the effort intelligently and the effort emotionally to stay in the game and do things right. That is why I stayed with them. Those guys gave me that. That is the message I am sending."

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