Caleb McConnell had 16 points and Akwasi Yeboah had 12 of his 13 points in the second half as Rutgers held off visiting Stephen F. Austin 69-57 on Wednesday in Piscataway, N.J.
The Scarlet Knights (4-1) won despite committing 19 turnovers and missing 11 of 28 free throws, going 16 of 25 from the line in the second half.
Rutgers led 31-26 at halftime, an edge that had been nine in the final minute before McConnell was hit with a technical for arguing about a no-call. That allowed SFA (4-1) to make two foul shots and hit a layup at the buzzer to trail by only five.
The Lumberjacks got within 38-34 with 14:57 left but Rutgers responded with a 12-0 run in which it forced six turnovers. During that stretch, SFA was called for failing to get the ball over the midcourt line in 10 seconds coming out of a timeout and also had a five-second violation.
SFA went 5:43 without scoring, missing six shots including three on one possession, before senior guard John Comeaux hit a layup with 9:14 to go. Comeaux had 14 points for the Lumberjacks on 5-for-6 shooting.
The Lumberjacks cut the deficit to 57-49 with 4:14 to go during a scoring spurt in which they hit a pair of 3s after missing their first eight. SFA, which entered the game shooting 37.7 percent from outside, was 2 of 13 from 3-point range and shot 39.2 percent overall while turning it over 19 times.
SFA got as close as seven with 1:37 left after senior guard Kevon Harris scored six of his team-high 18 points in a 52-second span. But Rutgers iced the win by making 7 of 8 foul shots in the final 1:19.
The game was part of the Garden State Showcase, a five-team round-robin tournament. Rutgers finished 4-0 in the event while SFA went 3-1.
—Field Level Media