Rutgers 67, Stony Brook 58

Myles Mack was in Rutgers’ starting lineup for the first time

this season. The freshman guard turned it into a positive in a

hurry.

The 5-foot-9 product of St. Anthony High School had a

season-high 22 points to lead the Scarlet Knights to a 67-58

victory over cold-shooting Stony Brook on Saturday in the Holiday

Festival at Madison Square Garden.

”Coach decided to bring me off the bench,” Myles said. ”I

tried to be a spark and to lead the team and keep it going from

there. I responded well and had a great game.”

Myles sounded almost nonchalant about the move, but he wasn’t

that way right after the game.

”It was his turn,” Rutgers coach Mike Rice said of his playing

his three freshmen guards. ”I want to see how they respond and he

responded really well, so he’s on the bench again. When I told him

that after the game he was like `What? Come on?’ I told him we’ll

talk about it.”

Mack said the time on the bench allowed him to watch the game

for a while.

”I saw from the bench what was going on and see what I could

fix and we fixed it,” he said.

When asked what needed fixing he said: ”We needed to get in

transition more often. That’s the way we play. We had to run some

of the sets all the way through and get the ball to the guys who

should have it. I get the ball and go. It’s really hard to stop us

in transition because we have fast guards.”

Gilvydas Biruta had 13 points and freshman Eli Carter added 11

for the Scarlet Knights (6-5), who won away from home for the first

time this season. They had lost one true road game and two

neutral-site games.

Sophomore Dave Coley had a career-high 17 points to lead the

Seawolves (3-6), who have lost four of their last five. It was

Stony Brook’s first appearance in Madison Square Garden since the

program moved to Division I in 1999-2000.

”This was a great opportunity for us,” Stony Brook coach Steve

Pikiell said. ”Size does make a difference and their speed and

quickness hurt us as well.”

Rutgers used an 11-0 run to take a 27-14 lead with 3:00 left,

but Stony Brook closed the half on a 9-2 run, hitting their first

three 3-pointers of the game, to get within 31-26.

The Seawolves were 7 for 25 from the field (28 percent) in the

first half, but they were worse from the field in the second half

at 9 for 35 (25.7 percent) and they finished shooting 26.7 percent

for the game.

”I didn’t think my guys were as excited as I thought they would

be after the game,” Rice said, ”but any time you hold a

well-executing team to 28 percent, you should celebrate that fact.

We found some baskets that kind of eased our tension so to speak at

the offensive end. We grinded one out.”

Stony Brook got within 33-30 early in the second half. But Mack,

who was 7 of 8 from the field, hit a 3 to start a 7-0 run, and

Rutgers was able to stay in front by at least seven points the rest

of the way.

Bryan Dougher, Stony Brook’s leading scorer with a 12.8 average,

finished with 14 but was 4 of 16 from the field, including going 3

of 12 from 3-point range.

”I knew when we scheduled this game that Bryan was going to

have a long night,” Pikiell said.

Dougher said he was well prepared for Rutgers’ defense but that

didn’t matter.

”We kind of had an idea but you don’t get the hang of it until

the game gets started,” he said. ”We were excited all week about

getting to play here and obviously we would have liked to shoot

better. We had a good time but in fortunately we didn’t shoot

well.”

Rutgers has won all three meetings between the schools.