Geo Baker’s 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, was indicative of Rutgers’ hot shooting in its 86-39 win over Niagara in a non-conference game Sunday at Piscataway, N.J.
Rutgers (2-0) made 59.3 percent of its shots (35 of 59) with a 9-of-19 performance from beyond the arc.
The victory is the largest against a Division I opponent in Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell’s four seasons with the program.
Akwasi Yeboah, a graduate transfer from Stony Brook, added 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting with six rebounds for the Scarlet Knights, who were coming off a 73-71 win over Bryant at home Thursday. Ron Harper Jr. finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
Niagara, 0-2 after losing at Drexel 72-64 in its previous game, made 30.8 percent of its shots (16 of 52) and finished with no players in double figures. James Towns, who scored a team-high 17 points against Drexel, was held to four points on 1-of-5 shooting. Justin Roberts led Niagara with eight points.
Rutgers cruised after scoring the game’s first 14 points. The Scarlet Knights built a 39-14 lead by halftime behind seven points each from Yeboah, Montez Mathis and Caleb McConnell.
Baker scored 17 of his points in the second half on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
Niagara’s 17 turnovers resulted in Rutgers gaining a 26-2 edge in points-off-turnovers. The Scarlet Knights also controlled the boards, outrebounding Niagara 38-22. They dominated the paint outscoring Niagara 38-20 in that area.
Paul Mulcahy had six assists to lead Rutgers’ 22-assist performance.
Niagara, coached by former Duke player Greg Paulus, travels next to Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday. Rutgers hosts Drexel on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media