If the Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball program would like to become a contender instead of a pretender in the Big East Conference, the Scarlet Knights will need to knock off the West Virginia Mountaineers Saturday (2 p.m. on SNY) at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, WV. The Scarlet Knights (10-7, 2-2 Big East) are searching for their third straight conference victory, a feat the program hasn't accomplished since 2002-03, while the Mountaineers (12-5, 3-2) will be trying to rebound from a Monday night loss to No. 17-ranked Connecticut Huskies, 64-57.
On Tuesday, junior guard Dane Miller tallied a double-double (11 points and 12 rebounds) to help Rutgers manhandled the Pittsburgh Panthers, 62-39. Freshman guard Eli Carter added a team-best 14 points, while the Scarlet Knight held Pitt to just 21.1 percent shooting from the floor.
Entering Saturday's match up, Carter paces the Scarlet Knights is scoring averaging 18.8 points per game and has complied double-digit scoring totals in 11 straight contests. Sophomore center Gilvydas Biruta is tallying 10.8 ppg and collecting 5.5 rebounds per game, while freshman guard Myles Mack is coming off the bench to net 10.2 ppg.
Meanwhile, West Virginia has earned seven straight victories at home, including last Saturday's 74-62 victory over the No. 11 (then No. 9) Georgetown Hoyas. The Mountaineers are led by the league's top scorer (19.9 ppg) and rebounder (11.5 pg), senior forward Kevin Jones, while senior guard Darryl Bryant has averaged a conference-best 21.2 ppg in five league games.
On Jan. 4, West Virginia beat Rutgers, 85-64.
For more on the West Virginia Vs. Rutgers 2011 match up, check out the SB Nation blog On The Banks (Rutgers) or The Smoking Musket (WVU). For everything Big East basketball, visit Big East Coast Bias or the SB Nation college basketball homepage.