PISCATAWAY, N.J. Senior wing Dane Miller (6'6''-G/F-90) (Rochester, N.Y.) shot 5-of-9 and 8-of-9 from the free throw line to score 18 points with five assists in helping Rutgers (9-2) to a 68-56 win over Rider Friday afternoon at the RAC. It marked the fifth straight victory for the Scarlet Knights, who enter BIG EAST play having won nine of their past 10 contests.
Sophomore guard Eli Carter (6'2''-G-91) (Paterson, N.J.), sophomore forward Kadeem Jack (6'9''-F-92) (Queens, N.Y.) and junior power forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) joined Miller in double figures. Carter was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line to post 15 points, all of which were scored in the second half. Jack tied his career best with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Judge had 10 points with eight rebounds.
The Scarlet Knights, who committed just eight turnovers, limited the Broncs to 30.4 percent (14-46) shooting.
Neither team could find its rhythm in the opening half. With 10 minutes to play before the break, the score was knotted at just 6-6. Five lead changes and two ties occurred in the opening 20 minutes. The Scarlet Knights closed the half with a 5-0 run to take a 24-21 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
RU increased its advantage to seven points (32-25) early in the second half, before Rider stormed back to cut the deficit to a single point on two occasions. Rutgers re-gained control, running its lead to 46-37, but a pesky Broncs squad remained within striking distance.
Holding a slim 52-49 edge with five minutes to play, the Scarlet Knights scored eight consecutive points and never looked back. RU was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute to build a pair of 14 point advantages en route to the victory.
Rider (6-7) forward Daniel Stewart, who was a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line, led all scorers with 20 points.
Rutgers returns to the hardwood at No. 7 Syracuse in a 7 p.m. tip-off inside the Carrier Dome on Wednesday (Jan. 2). The game will be televised live in the New York Metropolitan market on MSG.
POSTGAME NOTES The 9-2 start marks the best through 11 games since 2010-11 and the third time in four years that RU has started the season 9-2. Rutgers held Rider to .304 shooting from the floor, the lowest mark for an opponent this season and the lowest since Pitt on Jan. 11, 2012. The Scarlet Knights turned the ball over just eight times, the third time this season (Sacred Heart, Howard) and second-straight game that RU has posted less than 10 miscues. The Scarlet Knights move to 15-1 all-time against Rider, including 13-1 at home. Dane Miller scored double-digits for the sixth time this season and 51st of his career with 18 points. Miller bested his career high for free throws made and attempted, going 8-for-9 from the line. Wally Judge posted double-digits in the first half for the first time in a Scarlet Knights uniform with 10 points. It marked the fifth game this season that Judge has scored 10-plus points. Judge paced RU in rebounding for the sixth time this season with eight boards. Kadeem Jack posted double-figures for the second time in four games with 12 points. Eli Carter (15) has recorded double-figures in each of the last 10 contests. Miller has dished out five-plus assists 11 times over his career (five). It marked the first time Miller has posted five-plus assists since Syracuse on Feb. 19, 2012. The Scarlet Knights move to 7-1 when three or more players score 10-plus points. When four or more players notch 10-plus, RU rises to 4-0. The 24 points scored by RU in the first half marked the lowest scoring output over the first 20 minutes since Nov. 9, 2012 vs. Saint Peters (22). It was also the lowest combined scoring effort since the first game of the season. Of the 11 players that saw action, eight scored and five posted at least eight points. RU rises to 3-1 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points. The RU front court combined for 50 points.
RUTGERS INTERIM HEAD COACH DAVID COX POST-GAME QUOTES
Opening Statement: The first thing that I want to say is that Im very thankful to have had this opportunity to coach this group of young men. I told them prior to the game, that the greatest gift an adult coaching can receive is the trust of his pupils, of his students, of his players. They have, for whatever reason, given me their trust for the past two weeks. That allowed me to be comfortable and grow into the position as a coach and for them to continue to grow. Im thankful for the opportunity. With that being said, Im looking forward to the big guy (Mike Rice) coming back tomorrow so we can continue about this climb that we are trying to make. As we enter BIG EAST play, I feel good that we are 9-2 and were ready to go. I think we are ready to compete. In regards to the game today, we didnt shoot the ball nearly as well as we have the past couple of games. I think that was to be expected. We were shooting it at a very high clip. A couple of things that we focused on going into this game, thinking that there might be a letdown as far as our offense goes, were defending the basketball. We got back to defending all the basics, closing out, communicating, talking, being in gaps because this is a team that can make you look really bad with those three guards getting to the basket off the dribble. The second thing was turnovers. We did a good job in both of those areas today. With the letdown offensively, I think we stepped up in those two areas and we were able to come out with a solid victory. There are some things to look back on and improve upon, but there are also some things that bode well for this team, particularly us coming together as a group during this adverse situation.
On holding the fort during Mike Rices absence: Absolutely, (theres a sense of holding the fort down). This was a stop gap. We had three games during that period where we had to hold the fort, or hold the rope, which is what I think we did a great job of. Again, I have to give a lot of credit to the rest of the staff managers included who stepped up and provided me with a tremendous amount of support and to the players who came together and played for one another. I think they made Rutgers proud with the way that theyve handled this.
On players: I think (the players are looking forward to getting back to normal). Theyre excited about BIG EAST play. I think theyre excited for Coach Rice to come back....I think theyre looking forward to it, absolutely. Dont take anything away from these last two weeks in regards to them and the growth that theyve made as a team. Im not talking about the coaches at all. As a group, this team came together.
RIDER HEAD COACH KEVIN BAGGETT POST-GAME QUOTES
Game thoughts: Good job by Rutgers, they did a good job against us in the post. I thought that we had the opportunity to win the game, (but we committed) bad turnovers at the wrong time. I thought our guys played well and battled. We had chances and we just have to go back and clean some things up.
We have to give ourselves a chance when were making those turnovers; we have to get good shots. There were things that we just have to build on and learn from. I thought that the effort was there and our guys played well. We just have to make some shots. Our guys are going to work on that and they understand that and we will be fine.
On the technical foul: I just thought that I saw something that the ref didnt see and he called the technical on me. Courtesy of: http://www.scarletknights.com
Latkovic number one in Montenegro for round 19 (by Court Side) - 59 minutes ago
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Guard Milos Latkovic (196-G-93, agency: Dynamics Global Management) had a great game in the last round for Lovcen, receiving a Court Side Player of the Week award for round 19.
The 23-year old player was the main contributor (35 points, five rebounds and four assists) to his team's victory, helping them to outclass Jedinstvo (#7, 7-10) with 34-point margin 98-64. Lovcen maintains the 4th position in Montenegrin Erste Liga. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games... [read more]
Guard Milos Latkovic (196-G-93, agency: Dynamics Global Management) had a great game in the last round for Lovcen, receiving a Court Side Player of the Week award for round 19. The 23-year old player was the main contributor (35 points, five rebounds and four assists) to his team's victory, helping them to outclass Jedinstvo (#7, 7-10) with 34-point margin 98-64. Lovcen maintains the 4th position in Montenegrin Erste Liga. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Lovcen will need more victories to improve their 10-7 record. In the team's last game Latkovic had a remarkable 72.7% from 2-point range and got four three-pointers out of 6 attempts. He just recently signed at Lovcen, being already a very valuable addition to the team. Milos Latkovic has solid league stats. He is league's best scorer averaging so far 22.3ppg. Latkovic is in league's top in assists (4th best: 5.0apg) and averages impressive 2.3spg,55.0% FGP and 41.7% from behind 3-point line.
The second best player in last round's games was another Lovcen's star - young Vasilije Knezevic (202-C-96). Knezevic had a very good evening with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course together with Latkovic he helped Lovcen with another comfortable win outscoring the lower-ranked Jedinstvo (#7, 7-10) 98-64. Lovcen's 4th position in the standings has not changed. His team's 10-7 record is not bad at all. Knezevic is one of the most experienced players at Lovcen and similarly like Milos Latkovic has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.
Third on the list of top players last round was center Boris Jeknic (203-C-89) of Ulcinj (#5). Jeknic showcased his all-around game by recording 23 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the last round. He was a key player of Ulcinj, leading his team to a 92-83 win against slightly lower-ranked S.Centar (#6, 7-10). Ulcinj needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 9 victories and 8 lost games. Jeknic has a very solid season. In 17 games in Montenegro he scored 13.1ppg. He also has 5.7rpg and FGP: 64.2%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Djoko Salic (213-C-95) of Sutjeska - 18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists 5. Milan Latkovic (184-G-86) of Ulcinj - 24 points, 4 rebounds and 9 assists 6. Marko Koljevic (191-G-90) of S.Centar - 32 points and 3 rebounds 7. Nikola Rondovic (207-PF-91) of Ibar Rozaje - 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists 8. Marko Ljujic (207-C-90) of Ibar Rozaje - 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists 9. Dejan Bjelic (209-C-90) of Jedinstvo - 18 points and 7 rebounds 10. Dragoje Djokovic (190-G-93) of Ulcinj - 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
The Player of the Week awards are presented by Court Side. Court Side is the global leader in basketball management, and is widely regarded as the most dynamic and innovative company of its kind. It was the first Basketball Agency to launch its own website, and the first to have its own database. Court Side has more agents and manpower within its organization, than any other competitor, and its international network of basketball contacts is still unparalleled.
Buducnost is the new-old winner of Montenegrin Cup. Even though nothing has really changed this time Buducnost could be considered lucky because one shot decided their destiny and this time this shot was in the hands of Antabia Waller (191-G-88, college: Auburn), Mornar's sharp shooter who missed a wide open shot from a central position to secure a big win for his team. But Buducnost won at the end (72-68). Buducnost started the game much better and opened it with a 20-11 lead in the firs... [read more]
Buducnost is the new-old winner of Montenegrin Cup. Even though nothing has really changed this time Buducnost could be considered lucky because one shot decided their destiny and this time this shot was in the hands of Antabia Waller (191-G-88, college: Auburn), Mornar's sharp shooter who missed a wide open shot from a central position to secure a big win for his team. But Buducnost won at the end (72-68). Buducnost started the game much better and opened it with a 20-11 lead in the first quarter which was defended by the halftime. However, in the third quarter Mornar played much better, Octavius Ellis (208-C-93, college: Cincinnati) protected the basket and Buducnost's big men got in foul trouble. The last quarter was a very exciting experience for everybody in the gym because Mornar got the lead back and Buducnost's rotation did not bring any results. But in the last few minutes thanks to outstanding performances by Nemanja Gordic (193-PG-88) and Suad Sehovic (197-G/F-87) Buducnost won the game and celebrated another Cup title. Sehovic and Gordic scored 15 points each for the winners and most of these points came in the crucial moments. On the other side former Buducnost's talent Boris Bakic (193-G-86, agency: BeoBasket) scored 17 points.
KK Ibar Rozaje (Erste Liga) signed 25-year old Slovenian guard Stefan Vukovic (196-98kg-92, college: Blue Mountain) after he was tested there shortly. He played recently at KK Splosna plovba Portoroz in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM, but left. In 9 games he had 10.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.4apg and 1.2spg this season. The last season Vukovic played at Studentski Centar Podgorica where in 6 Erste Liga games he recorded 3.5ppg and 2.0rpg. He was named to SSAC All-Academic Team in 2015. Vukovic graduated fr... [read more]
KK Ibar Rozaje (Erste Liga) signed 25-year old Slovenian guard Stefan Vukovic (196-98kg-92, college: Blue Mountain) after he was tested there shortly. He played recently at KK Splosna plovba Portoroz in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM, but left. In 9 games he had 10.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.4apg and 1.2spg this season. The last season Vukovic played at Studentski Centar Podgorica where in 6 Erste Liga games he recorded 3.5ppg and 2.0rpg. He was named to SSAC All-Academic Team in 2015. Vukovic graduated from Blue Mountain College in 2015 and it is his second season as a professional player.
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