Eight straight points out of a timeout midway through the second half put SMU up for good.
Rutgers build momentum compliments of a strong stretch from Wally Judge. A one-point Rutgers deficit quickly turned to double digits and then a 77-65 loss to the No. 23 team in the country.
Nic Moore was the best guard on the flood, out-playing both Myles Mack and Jerome Seagears of Rutgers. Moore ran his offense, and hit multiple key three-pointers in the second half. The scrappy, 5-foot-9 guard was good for 21 points and five assists, including the jumper to ice the game at the four-minute mark.
“He’s their catalyst,” said coach Eddie Jordan. “He’s their bulldog. He dictates the tempo. He finds his people in the paint. He’s very, very mature. He’s tough. He makes free throws. He makes threes. He’s like the engine.”
Rutgers (10-15, 4-8) had eyes on revenge after the beating it received from SMU in Dallas a month ago. The Scarlet Knights fought harder, with multiple second-half runs, but did not have enough to overtake the Mustangs.
Judge led the first run to cut the score to 41-40. He scored all five of his points in that run to go along with two of his three rebounds before fouling out.
Junior Kadeem Jack started slow. He missed six of his first eight shots and was just 55 percent from the free throw line. Jack still finished second in scoring with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
“No not at all,” said Jack on being encouraged by the effort. “We don’t really play for moral wins. We play for the win.”
Junior Myles Mack led Rutgers with 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Rutgers shot just 41 percent from the floor and 21 percent from long range in the loss.
“I saw us miss good shots,” Jordan said. “I thought that their length bothered us. If you have long people, and people like them that adjust shots, it’s going to bother you a little bit. For the most part we got the ball inside. We got good screening action. We got good shots.”