Carter’s stretch results in honors

Sophomore guard Eli Carter earned Big East Weekly Honor Roll recognition this week following two Rutgers men’s basketball team wins.

Carter averaged 22.5 points per game during the span and leads the Scarlet Knights this season with 18 points per game. He scored a team-best 25 points Sunday at UNC-Greensboro, where the Knights came back from a halftime deficit to win their fourth game in a row.

He added 20 points in a two-point victory Nov. 20 against Boston University at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Carter has appeared in each of Rutgers’ last four games off the bench after starting the Knights’ season-opening loss against St. Peter’s. He scored only five points against the Peacocks on a season-low 2-for-12 shooting.

The loss prompted head coach Mike Rice to question the team’s offensive purpose. Rice responded by making changes to the starting lineup, namely removing Carter and two other opening night starters.

The move has paid off.

The Knights have scored more than 80 points in three of their first five games, including a season-high 88 in their first win of the season Nov. 12 against Sacred Heart. Carter scored a team-best 18 points that night, his first tour on the bench following a freshman season in which he started 28 games.

Carter led Rutgers in scoring as a freshman, averaging 13.8 points per game in nearly 30 minutes on the floor.

But during the Knights’ win streak, he has not been alone.

Sophomore point guard Myles Mack scored 24 points in Rutgers’ win at UNC-Greensboro. He contributed 45 more during the Knights’ previous three games.

Mack, sophomore guard Mike Poole and senior forward Austin Johnson entered the team’s starting lineup following the loss to St. Peter’s. Mack spent most of his freshman campaign as Rice’s offensive spark off the bench, while Carter and classmate Jerome Seagears started in the backcourt.

The Paterson, N.J., native leads Rutgers in 3-point percentage, ranks first among guards in field goal percentage and is No. 1 in minutes played.

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