Rutgers 61, Miami 45

After just three games, it appears Mike Rice’s philosophy of
team play and hard-nosed defense has made an impact on Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights displayed both on Sunday, as Jonathan
Mitchell had 12 points and seven rebounds and Dane Miller scored
all 11 of his points in the second half in a 61-45 win over
Miami.

”I preach everyday teamwork and being there for your
teammate,” Rice said. ”Being a good teammate isn’t applauding and
giving up part of your sub sandwich. It’s about jumping to the
ball, details, boxing out, setting your man up. The little
things.

”Today, you saw a very good performance of how to be a good
teammate. That’s what I’m most proud of about this win. I told them
to be happy but to get used to this. This is the new Rutgers. We’re
going to do this night in and night out.”

Rutgers (2-1) held Miami to 29-percent shooting (14 of 48) while
getting 11 steals and forcing 17 turnovers. The 45 points were 36
below the Hurricanes’ season average entering play Sunday and it
was the lowest amount the Scarlet Knights have allowed to an ACC
team since a 50-45 win over Maryland on Feb. 19, 1941.

Miami’s backcourt duo of Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant entered
the game averaging a combined 30 points but were limited to eight
as Durand had five and Grant three. Neither scored in the second
half and they shot 3 for 15 (20 percent) combined.

”Our backcourt was not good,” Miami coach Frank Haith said.
”Guard play wins games and we didn’t play very well. Those guys
are important to our success. When they don’t play well it puts a
lot of pressure on us offensively.”

Rutgers guard Mike Coburn, who had eight points, six assists and
four steals, said his team did not do anything special.

”We just played our normal defense and did things we normally
do,” Coburn said. ”We know what they like to do well, and if the
defender on the ball gets beat, the next person has to be there to
help them.”

Austin Johnson added nine points for the Scarlet Knights, who
defeated the Hurricanes (2-2) for the third time in the last four
games. It was the first meeting between the two since 2004, before
Miami left the Big East for the ACC.

The Hurricanes got 12 points and 14 rebounds from Reggie
Johnson, who was their lone offensive spark after intermission.

After a back-and-forth first half, Rutgers used a 14-5 run early
in the second to open a 40-29 advantage. The lead held steady
between nine and 11 over the next 10 minutes. Holding a 52-43 edge
with 3:09 left, Rutgers scored nine straight to open its largest
lead at 61-43 with 1:08 remaining.

”I wasn’t really expecting a run (by Miami) with the way we
play defense,” Miller said. ”Miami looked like they were
confused. Coach Rice kept switching up defenses – he’d call out one
defense and we’d switch to another and they’d get all mixed
up.”

After having a 22-game regular-season winning streak against
nonconference opponents snapped by Memphis on Monday, the
Hurricanes have lost two of their last three to nonconference
foes.

”I thought we looked sluggish,” Haith said. ”We didn’t play
with any balance, with any enthusiasm. Give Rutgers credit, they
played very hard and with a purpose.”