Rutgers Holds Off Men's Basketball, 88-79

Preston Purifoy scored a career-high 20 points, 15 coming in the second half

Dec. 16, 2012

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Jordan Swing and Preston Purifoy each posted career-high point totals, but Rutgers built up a big first half lead and held off the UAB men’s basketball team, 88-79, at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Sunday.

UAB (5-6), which whittled a 25-point deficit to seven with just over three minutes remaining, got 23 points from Swing, 20 from Purifoy and 14 from Rod Rucker.

The Scarlet Knights took a 36-11 lead by making their first 10 shots and 15 of their first 16. Rutgers shot 73.9 percent (17 of 23) in the first half and finished at 60 percent (27 of 45).

UAB got within 74-67 with 3:05 remaining but Carter responded with a three-point play.

Rutgers was perfect for the game's first eight minutes, and by the time Jerome Seagears missed a 3-pointer the Knights were up 21-7.

UAB managed to get to within 43-29 by hitting five straight shots before Rutgers took a 50-33 lead at intermission.

The Knights cooled in the second half, hitting 10 of 22 (45.5 percent), but maintained a double-figure lead for most of the way.

UAB slowly chipped away, and a three-point play by Purifoy cut the deficit to seven. Carter then scored nine of Rutgers' next 13 points as it rebuilt its advantage to 87-72 with 29 seconds left.

Despite being outrebounded 30-28 and committing 18 turnovers Rutgers maintained control by holding UAB to 43.9 percent shooting (29 of 66).

Rutgers got 20 points from Eli Carter and 10 from Dane Miller.

Carter had six assists and three steals but committed seven turnovers, while Miller had seven rebounds.