RU Falls to #9 Louisville, 78-59

It seemed to be a good time to catch the high-flying Cardinals of Louisville (14-3, 5-0) given they were just coming off an inspiring defeat of then-No.1 Pitt. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights (9-10, 0-6), the Cards continued right where they left off in their previous outing, and handed Rutgers their seventh consecutive loss.

Rutgers continued its daunting stretch of games, having met a ranked opponent for the sixth time in seven games. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, the home atmosphere of the RAC was of little help Wednesday evening as Louisville continued its stellar play in winning their sixth consecutive game, since an upset loss at the hands of the UNLV Running rebels. The win catapults the Cardinals to the top of the Big East Conference, in a deadlock with Marquette, with both teams sporting an undefeated record of five victories and zero losses.

Rutgers, who was paced by Mike Rosario's 21 points (7-16 FG), has not won since a late December outing versus NJIT. During this stretch, the Scarlet Knights have faced a who's-who of basketball's top programs, with Cincinnati's Bearcats being the sole member not currently in the Top-10. Despite the lack of team success, Rosario continues to shine individually, having now scored in double digits in ten consecutive contests. Against the Cards, he also contributed on the glass, grabbing three offensive rebounds, which matched his career-high (four total rebounds on the evening), snatched one steal, and blocked one shot.

Gregory Echenique added 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Scarlet Knights.

As a team, Rutgers shot 39% from the field, while Louisville burned the nets off the RAC rims, shooting an impressive 59% (29-49 FG).

Louisville got on the board first, and led by a margin of 5-2 in the early going. The Scarlet Knights reeled five straight points and took their lone lead of the evening, 7-5, at the 15:42 mark of the initial half. Rutgers would not score another point until only 6:44 remained in the 1st half, missing 11 consecutive field goals, and recording a game-changing 7 turnovers. In the nearly ten minute stretch that elapsed between RU points Louisville scored 23 straight to put the game out of reach.

Rutgers will next be in action this upcoming Saturday at Madison Square Garden vs. St. John's. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. with live television coverage on MSG+.


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