The Scarlet Knights fought hard but couldn’t keep up with Miami on Wednesday night, resulting in our first loss of the season (6-1).
The Miami lead was only 6 points at the half, but Rutgers went ice cold early in the second half, going 8 minutes without scoring a point. That allowed the Hurricanes to extend it to a 21 point gap with 11 minutes left to play.
The Knights continued to fight through the rough patch, and cut the lead to 10 at one point, using a healthy dose of their full-court press. But it wasn’t enough, and Miami finished off a 73-61 win.
Here are the key takeaways for me:
- Killed on the glass – This was a complete 180 from what we’ve seen through the first 6 games. Rutgers entered with gaudy team rebounding numbers, but Miami dominated the boards in this one. The final margin was 44-32, and honestly, I was surprised to see it was that close. We looked a step too slow and our box-outs left a lot to be desired. Miami was easily the most athletic team we’ve faced so far and they made us pay for the mistakes.
- Shooting woes – The final numbers weren’t pretty. 36% from the field, 20% from 3-point land. But as I highlighted in the game preview, that’s what Miami does to opponents. Rutgers’ shooting actually improved quite a bit in the last 9 minutes, but it was too little too late. It’s very hard to win a road game when the numbers are that poor. The ball movement was good, the looks were there, we just couldn’t capitalize tonight.
- Effort to the end – I don’t want to overstate this because I’m not big on moral victories, but I appreciated the fight the guys had all the way to the end. Being down 21 points on the road midway through the second half is not an easy position to be in, but they continued to work on the defensive end. The full-court pressure was effective and forced a few turnovers. I would bet this is something we use more moving forward. Overall, not a great night from a shooting standpoint or even a fundamentals standpoint, but we never gave up.
Next up — vs. Morgan State on Saturday night at the RAC