A bounce-back effort from Rutgers was needed after suffering its first loss.
On Friday afternoon, the Scarlet Knights came out flat and fell behind early against Temple. Tuesday night — it was quite the opposite.
Rutgers looked like a team on a mission during a 76-46 victory over Rider at Jersey Mike’s Arena. The success at home continues as the Scarlet Knights have now defeated three inferior opponents with ease on their home floor. In previous years, Rutgers have let teams hang around but that is not the case so far this season.
Caleb McConnell (knee) and Paul Mulcahy (shoulder) remained out with an injury. Cam Spencer led the charge during a hot start for the Scarlet nights.
Spencer knocked down three shots from deep in the first half and finished with 19 points on 7-for-12 from the field.
The lead ballooned to as many as 33 in the second half, where Cliff Omoruyi began to take over. Rider ended the first half on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 12. In the second half, Omoruyi score the first seven points for Rutgers. He ended with 20 points on 8-for-16 from the field. Omoruyi added 12 rebounds and three blocks.
Defensively, Rutgers continued to be active at all three levels. Rider shot just 25% from the field and was 2-for-19 from three-point range.
Offensively, Rutgers bounced back with a fluid effort. The Scarlet Knights shot 5-for-15 from deep but still struggled from some familiar areas. Rutgers missed 13 free throws and went 10-for-21 on layups. Omoruyi went 4-for-11 from the free throw line. The Scarlet Knights came into the day ranked 147th nationally shooting 71.7% from the line. This will have to be fixed come conference play.
With Class of 2023 signee Gavin Griffiths in the crowd, the Scarlet Knights enjoyed a blowout victory in front of their home crowd. On Saturday, Rutgers will return to Jersey Mike’s Arena to host Central Connecticut State.