PISCATAWAY, NJ (November 12, 2012) – The Rutgers Scarlet Knights shot 54.4 percent and had five players in double figures led by sophomore Eli Carter's 18 on their way to dealing Sacred Heart an 88-62 loss Monday night at The RAC in Piscataway, NJ. The Pioneers got outscored 56-24 in the paint in the loss as they even their record at 1-1 to start the year.
The Pioneers (1-1) saw their winless streak against teams from the Big East conference extended to 0-17 on Monday night in their only meeting with the league this season.
Senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) saw his streak of 37-straight games scoring in double figures come to an end, finishing with seven points on three-of-15 shooting from the field and one-for-six from three. Senior Femi Akinpetide (Sydney, Australia) hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds while junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) had 13 points in the loss. Freshman Tevon Falzon (Newton, MA) hit for 10 points, his first career double digit outing.
Sacred Heart opened strong, especially on the defense end and jumped out to an 11-6 lead seven minutes in. SHU's Montes caught a dunk off a feed from Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) at 13:03, producing the only Pioneer field goal for the next seven and a half minutes.
Rutgers almost instantly kicked their offense into high gear with a quick three and transition bucket by Eli Carter to tie it at 11 with 12:30 left. The Scarlet Knights took their first lead of the night on a Malick Kone fast break lay-in at 11:58 and they never looked back.
The SHU offense scoreless until a pair of Montes free throws at 7:46 but a 17-0 run gave the Scarlet Knights a 23-11 lead. The Pioneers finally got a bucket at the 5:32 mark when Nick Greenbacker (Coventry, CT) banked in a jumper from the wing but the damage was done as Rutgers rang up a 22-2 run in that span.
Following the Greenbacker make, Carter answered immediately with a three and a quick 7-0 spurt gave Rutgers a 35-15 lead with 4:15 left in the first half. When the halftime horn sounded, the Pioneers were outscored 35-10 over the final 13 minutes of the half to trail 41-21 at the break. SHU made just nine-of-33 and missed all nine shots from three.
In the second half, the Pioneers pulled within 43-26 on Gibson's first three of the night at 18:11. Pioneers got within 16, 53-37, as Falzon buried a three to beat the shot clock.
RU's Mike Rice used a timeout at 8:02 when the Pioneers pulled within 65-48 on a Justin Swidowski (Cinnaminson, NJ) put-back. His team responded with three-straight transition hoops including a monster dunk by Wally Judge to push the lead back over 20, where it would stay the rest of the way.