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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rutgers 76, DePaul 57

By Kieran Darcy

What it means: In the second game of the 2013 Big East tournament, No. 11 seed Rutgers advanced to the second round, defeating No. 14 seed DePaul 76-57 at Madison Square Garden.

The Scarlet Knights improved to 15-15 on the season, and will face No. 6 seed Notre Dame on Wednesday. The Blue Demons' season comes to an end, with a final record of 11-21.

The turning point: Rutgers led for most of the first half, yet needed a Myles Mack 3-pointer at the buzzer to put them back in front, 32-31, at intermission. The Scarlet Knights shot a blistering 60.9 percent in the first 20 minutes (14-for-23), but committed 11 turnovers.

Rutgers came out of the locker room on fire to start the second half. The Scarlet Knights scored 21 points in the first five minutes alone, expanding their lead to 52-39 on a Wally Judge jumper with 15:06 remaining. DePaul cut the deficit to eight, 58-50, with 8:44 left, but then Rutgers put the Blue Demons away.

Star watch: Judge, the former McDonald's High School All-America who transferred from Kansas State, had his best game as a Scarlet Knight, scoring a season-high 20 points and shooting 9-for-9 from the field. Judge also had a team-high 10 rebounds. Mack scored 19 points.

Cleveland Melvin had a game-high 25 points for DePaul, with Brandon Young chipping in 15.

Number crunch: For the game, Rutgers shot a sparkling 61.1 percent from the field (33-for-54) -- it surely helped that the Scarlet Knights were playing one of the worst defensive teams in the country. And Rutgers committed just four turnovers in the second half.

What's next: Rutgers versus Notre Dame will be the fourth and final game on Wednesday at the Garden, tipping off at approximately 9:30 p.m.

DePaul heads home to Chicago, and looks forward to next season.