Rutgers basketball: COVID postpones Central Connecticut State, cancels Rider game

Jerry Carino
Asbury Park Press

Rutgers basketball's COVID positives are upending the homestretch of its non-conference schedule. 

As announced Monday by the athletics department: 

"Due to COVID-19 protocols and out of an abundance of caution, the Thursday, Dec. 23 game against Central Connecticut State at Jersey Mike's Arena will be rescheduled to a later date. The Saturday, Dec. 18 game against Rider at Jersey Mike's Arena that was previously postponed, is now officially cancelled"

The target date for rescheduling the Central Connecticut State game is Jan. 1, but details have yet to be finalized. 

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Also from the athletic department: 

"Due to the cancellation of Saturday's game against Rider, the Rutgers Ticket Office will refund all paid tickets and parking to both season ticket holders and single game purchasers. ​Refunds for this event will be issued by Tuesday December 21 and will take seven to ten business days to post.  All refunds will be issued to the credit card used during the initial purchase.  

"If the game against Central Connecticut State is rescheduled, Rutgers Athletics will honor all tickets and parking for the rescheduled date. If that game is cancelled, the Rutgers Ticket Office will refund all paid tickets and parking to both season ticket holders and single game purchasers."

This is the second straight year Rutgers-Rider has fallen through due to the virus; last year, it was on Rider's end. Rutgers attempted to reschedule this year's game for Christmas week but couldn't come to an agreement with Rider. 

The Scarlet Knights (5-5 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) last played Dec. 12, a 14-point loss at Seton Hall, which also has scratched its last two games due to COVID. Rutgers' final scheduled non-conference game is Dec. 29 at home vs. Maine. Then comes a resumption of the Big Ten schedule with a visit from Michigan Jan. 4. 

This marks the Scarlet Knights' first COVID pause. Every player and staff member in the program was fully vaccinated by September, but breakthrough cases are happening across college athletics and everywhere. 

Nov 10, 2021; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Pikiell reacts against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks during the first period at Jersey Mike's Arena. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.