Rutgers (8-10) at SMU (14-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 21, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (7,000) -- Dallas, Texas. Television: ESPNews. Home Record: Rutgers 8-6, SMU 9-0. Away Record: Rutgers 0-4, SMU 3-3. Neutral Record: Rutgers 0-0, SMU 2-1. Conference Record: Rutgers 2-3, SMU 3-2. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The SMU Mustangs will try to increase their current three-game win streak as they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in American Athletic Conference action at Moody Coliseum.
Rutgers has been up and down this season, having won as many as three games in a row and lost as many as four straight. The Knights have lost three of their last four games, including a 77-55 blowout loss to Houston Sunday.
SMU's season continues to improve, as the Mustangs have won three straight, including wins in consecutive days against UCF and Hofstra, which was a makeup game. The Mustangs took down Hofstra, 73-49, on Sunday in non-conference action.
This is the first-ever meeting between Rutgers and SMU, as the two teams are part of the newly formed AAC. They'll meet again during the regular season on Feb. 13 in New Jersey.
Rutgers had the edge in rebounding, but Houston shot a smooth 50 percent from the floor to down the Scarlet Knights in AAC play Sunday. Myles Mack connected on 6-of-10 shooting from the field for Rutgers, scoring a team-best 15 points in the losing effort. Kadeem Jack nearly recorded a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Rutgers shot a beyond deplorable 10 percent from 3-point range in the game, including 0-of-5 in the second half. The Knights shot 31.2 percent for the game from the floor.
Mack and Jack lead the team this season in scoring at 16.7 ppg and 13.3 ppg, respectively. Jack shoots 51.4 percent from the floor this season, and leads the team with a 6.9 rpg mark. Wally Judge isn't too far off Jack's rebounding pace at 6.8 rpg. Mack tops the team with 73 total assists, while Jerome Seagears is second with 63. The Scarlet Knights average 74.9 ppg through their 18 games played.
SMU held Hofstra to 49 points on Sunday in the Mustangs' second win in as many days. SMU quickly jumped ahead, 6-0, against Hofstra, and would hold the lead throughout the contest. Cannen Cunningham scored 14 points to pace the Mustangs, adding three rebounds and three blocked shots to his stat line. Markus Kennedy scored 12 and grabbed 12 rebounds for the double-double, and both Nic and Ben Moore chipped in 10 points each.
Nic Moore leads the Mustangs this season in scoring at 12.9 ppg, with Kennedy not too far behind at 11.2 ppg. Kennedy tops the team in rebounding, grabbing an average of 6.6 rpg through 18 contests. Nic Moore leads the team in assists with 83, while Nick Russell is second on the team with 64. SMU isn't a team that will dominate by scoring plenty of points, as the team averages a modest 71.9 ppg. Rather, the Mustangs will beat teams by playing stellar defense, holding their opposition to just 60.2 ppg.
Rutgers' terrible record on the road doesn't bode well for the Scarlet Knights, who will need to get serious contributions from all over the floor in order to beat SMU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 75, Rutgers 66
01/21 10:33:58 ET