Rutgers goes down versus Cincinnati

Rutgers (10-15, 2-10) dropped its fourth straight game last night with a 72-68 overtime loss to Cincinnati (11-12, 6-5) at the RAC. Rutgers went back and forth with Cincy in a game that had 12 lead changes, but were unable to hold off Deonta Vaughn in OT.

Rutgers found out last night that it's hard to keep a good scorer down for too long.

Sophomore guard Deonta Vaughn came into the game as the fourth leading scorer in the Big East with 17.8 points per game and was a non-factor in the first 40 minutes with just six points.

Overtime was a different story as Vaughn accounted for 13 of Cincinnati's 16 points in the period, shooting 3-4 from the field and 6-6 from the foul line, as the Bearcats came away with a 72-68 road win at the RAC.

Vaughn finished the game with 19 points and also had seven rebounds.

"In overtime we lost him on the very first possession and he got loose in transition," Rutgers Head Coach Fred Hill said. "I think that's the one thing that we did an outstanding job of over the course of the game. I thought he made a couple of tough shots and got into the middle of the lane. He's a good player, but I thought we did a great job on him."

The once four star prospect out of Indianapolis went on a 7-0 run of his own to start out the extra frame hitting a three-pointer, nailing two foul shots and finishing the drive with a floater in the lane.

The Scarlet Knights answered with three straight points on a dunk by junior forward J.R. Inman and a foul shot by sophomore center Hamady N'diaye to cut the deficit to four with 1:39 left. That would be the closest they came.

"We didn't shoot the ball real good from the perimeter," Hill said. "We're going to continue to go inside and out, which I feel we did a good job of tonight. You have to be able to knock down some shots, and we made some big ones when we had to."

Rutgers went back and forth with Cincinnati in the first half in a game that featured 11ties and 12 lead changes.

"One thing I'd like to say about Rutgers, despite their youth, they continue to battle and give themselves a chance," Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin said. "That's a credit to their kids and their coaches."

Down by two, junior guard Anthony Farmer went to the free throw line after driving in for a lay up and hit both of his foul shots to tie the game 56-56 with just over 20 seconds remaining.

To keep the game tied and send it into overtime, Rutgers came up with two big blocks on the next Cincinnati possession. First, sophomore center Hamady Ndiaye sent senior forward John Williamson's jumper out of bounds and then junior forward Jaron Griffin denied senior guard Marvin Gentry a final shot.

Williamson was Cincinnati‘s go to guy in regulation while Vaughn struggled, hassling the Knights big men down low and finished the game with a season high 22 points. The Bearcats had 46 points in the paints.

"Most of their points were in the paint [and] I couldn't do anything about it because they would get me in foul trouble," Ndiaye said. "It's just [one] of the things that I cannot control, we just got to as a team get away from those types of situations."

Cincinnati out-rebounded Rutgers with a season high 52 boards to Rutgers 37.

N'diaye had a tremendous day picking up his first double-double with a career high 14 points on a perfect 5-5 from the field, 10 rebounds and also tied a career high with seven blocks.

"I wasn't thinking on the defensive end as much as I used to," he said. "I usually just come into the game defensive minded today was just more of an offensive day. I'm glad of the result."

Freshman guard Corey Chandler came off the bench and led Rutgers with 16 points on 6-17 shooting and also had seven rebounds. Farmer finished with 12 points.

"We came out with a great effort and battled and that's what we have to do every night," Chandler said.

Rutgers will look to end its four game skid on Feb. 14 at West Virginia at 7 p.m. on ESPN 2.

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