RU Basketball to host South Carolina State

The Rutgers men's basketball team looks to rebound from Thursday's loss at No. 2 North Carolina, returning home to host South Carolina State in a New Year's Eve contest Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

The Scarlet Knights (6-6) host the Bulldogs (3-7) in their final game before BIG EAST play commences at the turn of the new year next Wednesday, Jan. 3 at Seton Hall. Rutgers is led by sophomore forward JR Inman (Pomona, N.Y.), who is averaging 12.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Fellow sophomore forward Jaron Griffin (Manchester, N.J.) is contributing 9.8 points per contest. Griffin is the lone member of the roster to start all 12 of the Scarlet Knights' games this season. Senior forward Adrian Hill (Canton, Ohio) has also made his presence felt in the post, averaging 6.2 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Marquis Webb (Paterson, N.J.) has converted 92 percent (23-of-25) of his free throws this season.

The Scarlet Knights and Bulldogs have met just once prior, when Rutgers defeated S.C. State, 63-45 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on Dec. 17 of last season. In that game, former Scarlet Knight Quincy Douby scored a game-high 21 points, while Ollie Bailey (Chicago, Il.) chipped in with 18 points and nine rebounds.

South Carolina State has been idle for more than a week following a 79-77 home victory over UNC Asheville on Dec. 21. Senior forward Brian Mason connected on a game-winning shot at the buzzer to lift S.C. State to the victory. He finished the contest with a game-high 23 points. The Bulldogs are 3-7 overall with all three victories coming in their last five games. They defeated North Carolina A&T (77-67), Coastal Carolina (81-80) and aforementioned UNC Asheville during that stretch.

Senior guard Travis Jones leads South Carolina State in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game, while Mason is chipping in 11.4 points per contest. Sophomore center Julius Carter (5.5) and freshman forward Jason Flagler (5.3) lead the team in rebounding. Flagler had a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds) in S.C. State's last contest against UNC Asheville.

Jamal Brown, a former player for South Carolina State from 1993-96, is in his first season as head coach of the Bulldogs after spending the last couple of seasons at Tennessee State.

The Bulldogs, of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) have already faced one BIG EAST opponent this season, dropping an 82-69 decision to South Florida on Nov. 17.

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