Rutgers Survives, Advances to Louisville

Kadeem Jack

Rutgers survived a late onslaught by South Florida to advance to the second round of the AAC tournament. In the 72-68 victory, a big first half from Wally Judge and strong finish by Kadeem Jack pits Rutgers against Louisville Thursday at 3 p.m.

Kadeem Jack took over in the final minutes of a first-round victory for Rutgers over South Florida in the AAC tournament.

Jack's 18 points and six rebounds led Rutgers to a 72-68 win, and its third over the Bulls this season. He scored all but four of his points in the second half, where Rutgers held onto its lead in a nail-biter.

"I just liked our personality on the floor," said Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan in his WCTC post-game segment, " … Our kids kept their poise. There were a lot of difficult plays not being made, but if you keep your poise and you keep your personality and that positive attitude things work out for you."

Rutgers led by double digits, but allowed USF to battle back by missing open shots. The Scarlet Knights secured a victory via clutch plays on both sides from senior J.J. Moore. Moore blocked a shot and stole the basketball with 34 seconds left in the game. He then made three of four free throws to put the game to bed.

Moore's final free throw was the 1,000th point of his career. He saved the game in the final seconds with an offensive rebound on a missed Jack free throw.

"In some instances, some guys would say let's send everybody back," Jordan said. "But I wanted our guys up and he made the play."

Rutgers built an early lead thanks to a strong first half from Wally Judge and good shooting from guard Myles Mack. Judge, before fouling out midway through the second half, provided 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Mack made all four long-range shots for the Scarlet Knights, finishing with 15 on 5-of-15 shooting.

"It was a year-long process," Jordan said. "… We missed a ton of layups too, but again, our personality, our demeanor was the key element tonight. … We just found a way to win."

Second-seeded Louisville awaits the Scarlet Knights Thursday night at the FedEx Forum.

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