Bench Plays Major Role in Surge

While Rutgers struggled shooting the ball and struggled for most of the night, Corey Chandler, Byron Joynes and Earl Pettis came off the bench and provided some much needed energy leading the Knights on a 17-4 run, cutting the lead to five with less than three minutes to play and putting RU back in contention.

It wasn't all bad news for Rutgers last night.

While they shot just under 29 percent from the field for the game, there were some positives to take from the 52-45 loss to the Red Storm yesterday.

Facing its largest deficit of the night, Rutgers rallied to a 17-4 run and cut the lead to five putting them within striking distance near the end of the game. The bench played a major role in the team's late surge.

Freshman guard Corey Chandler, red shirt senior center Byron Joynes and freshman Earl Pettis came off the bench and along with sophomore center Hamady N'diaye and freshman guard Mike Coburn, gave the team a boost that was missing for a majority of the game.

"We needed energy and I feel the people that were on the floor gave us the most energy," Fred Hill said. "They were defending the hardest, and offensively they were doing what we asked them to do."

Junior guard Anthony Farmer started the run off with five straight points and made it a 43-28 game.

After freshman forward Justin Burrell hit a jumper by the Red Storm bench to give the Red Storm a 15 point lead, the Knights smaller unit pieced together 10 unanswered points and made it a game with under three minutes to play.

"Whatever is working, whatever is hot, that's what coach tends to go by," Farmer said. "Obviously they were playing well, chipping away and that's what he went with."

Joynes started the drive with a three-point play making the score 43-31 and drawing a bored crowd to their feet. He finished the game with eight points and six rebounds that gave him 511 boards for his career, moving him to 33rd on Rutgers' all-time list.

Coburn and Chandler would proceed to hit four straight foul shots and now the lead was down to eight. Chandler scored six points in the half and finished the game with nine.

Chandler then missed both of his free throws on the next possession only for Earl Pettis to pick up the rebound, lose it, and have Joynes jump on it and eventually force a jump ball.

Rutgers had possession and N'diaye would contribute two more points off the inbound. After adding another point, the Rutgers drive would end and the Johnnies tallied five unanswered points to put the game out of reach.

However, despite the loss, the bench was able to help Rutgers create something positive out of a game that was filled with negatives.

"With them in there it's a bit of a quicker team," Hill said. "We wanted to go with a quicker, smaller line-ups and get in gaps. We were down 18 and cut it to five with that line-up. They were the one's that got us back in the game, and I was going to let them have a chance to win the game for us."


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