Rutgers Can't Stop UConn, Napier Publisher
Posted Jan 25, 2014

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The sold-out blackout gave Rutgers a boost, but not enough to pull off an upset over a seasoned Connecticut group. The Shabazz Napier-fueled, 82-71, loss puts Rutgers on a three-game skid.

Rutgers got the positioning it wanted -- up by three points on Connecticut early in the second half in front of a sellout. Rutgers had star Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier struggling.

But just as Rutgers cooled off from eight straight points, Napier took over to lead the Huskies to a 82-71 win at the RAC.

“We had to almost play a perfect game,” said coach Eddie Jordan. “… When a great player opens the floor up like that, a great player does his thing, it’s very frustrating. The frustration got to us a little bit and we didn’t keep our poise.”

A combination of Jerome Seagears and Myles Mack held Napier to 1-of-6 shooting and six points in the first half. In the second half, Rutgers wasn’t nearly as successful and Napier led a closing stretch.

“If you have a great player like that, open the floor up and let him do his thing,” Jordan said. “He got it cooking. It’s a hard thing to guard. He’s a good passer. He sees the floor. He’s an assassin.”

Seagears sparked Rutgers off the bench tying the team high with 19 points and six assists. He made the three-pointer to put Rutgers ahead 42-41 early in the second half, and helped make up for an off night by Mack.

Rutgers (8-12, 2-5) saw a bounce-back game from junior Kadeem Jack in its third consecutive conference loss. Jack put up 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Equally important, Jack shot 11-for-14 from the free throw line, and stayed out of foul trouble.

“It definitely was [a challenge to answer],” Jack said. “I feel like all of the guys came out and they played hard. They played hard also, and they got the edge on us tonight.”

Last-place Temple (5-12, 0-6) is next up for Rutgers in Philadelphia. The Scarlet Knights started American Athletic Conference play with a 71-66 victory over the Owls.

Related Stories
Losing Streak Snapped
 -by  Feb 1, 2014 TV: Moore Sets Career High
 -by  Feb 1, 2014
Rutgers Building Confidence
 -by  Jan 6, 2014

Get the 2014 Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
SF J.J. Moore (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Basketball > Pittsburgh > Alumni
Basketball > Rutgers
Basketball > South Kent School > Alumni
[View My HotList]