PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers avoided the second-half meltdown that has been customary during its losing streak, but had no answer for Otto Porter.
Losing their sixth straight game, 69-63, the Scarlet Knights crumbled to Porter’s dominance in the decisive two minutes of action.
“I loved our compete in a lot of these games but it doesn’t matter,” said head coach Mike Rice. “You’ve got to win.”
Porter had 10 straight points in the second half and finished with an impressive 19 and 14.
With the game on the line, Rutgers did not finish at the basket and Elijah Carter cooled down from a hot start.
“When you get those opportunities, you have to finish them,” Rice said. “…You got to finish. Georgetown’s a very talented team. They don’t beat themselves.”
Carter led Rutgers with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting, but did not match Porter’s prowess in crunch time. Where Porter took over the game for Georgetown, Carter was 1-for-6 in the final five minutes with two turnovers.
According to Rice, Rutgers missed 21 shots in the paint.
“I know we’re not going to win many games in the Big East when we miss 21 shots in the paint,” Rice said.
Rutgers (12-10, 3-8) brought a history of second-half meltdowns into today’s game, but showed significant improvements against the Hoyas.
Rutgers did not allow more than a five-point run the other way, as opposed to Louisville where the Cardinals went on runs of 13 and 10.
“We were more locked in today,” said sophomore guard Jerome Seagears. “I can honestly say that.”
The Scarlet Knights return to action Tuesday against Seton Hall.
“We have to get it back,” Rice said. “The phrase ‘winning solves everything’ is a well-used phrase in this sport because it does in a way. It brings the joy back and we have to respond.”