Myles Mack’s 1,000th career point was a storyline going into tip-off but it was his other 24 points that stole the show in a bounce-back 85-75 victory over UCF.
Mack hit 1,000 on the nose in a first half dominated by Rutgers, but then he heated up with UCF threatening. Frustration mounting during a night full of fouls and turnovers, the junior captain took over with 21 points and six assists in the second half alone.
“At the beginning of the game, I guess I was just thinking about it too much,” Mack said. “That’s why I didn’t come out too strong. But after that, I got it off my mind and I came out and gave it my all in the second half. I think I was just a little bit anxious in the first half.”
UCF (9-6, 1-3) never led against Rutgers (8-9, 2-2) but kept it close in the second half. The Knights cut the lead to one possession multiple times until Mack delivered a dagger three-pointer with four minutes left in the game.
Mack finished with 25 points, eight assists and four boards on 7-of-17 shooting. He climbed into 39th place in school history in scoring.
Rutgers honored Mack after the game for his 1,000th point with a game ball.
“I’m just out here to win, man,” Mack said. “I don’t really care about [the points]. I just want to come out and win every night. That’s it.”
Junior guard Jerome Seagears (ankle) returned to action, putting up his best game in conference play. Seagears started hot, and said his ankle felt fine after the game.
Mack and Seagears combined for 43 points, 12 assists and just one turnover.
“It’s just good for the team for what we’re trying to do,” said Seagears, who scored 18 and dished out four assists. “You can’t stop both of us.”