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Rutgers, Behind a Well Balanced Attack, Dominates Fairleigh Dickinson In Season Opener

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With a new season, hope springs eternal for the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. After a Cinderella-like performance in the Big Ten Tournament, many wondered what we all can expect next season for the Rutgers’ basketball team? The new season is here now and it’s time for Rutgers to show they belong in the Big Ten.

After struggling the first ten minutes or so of the first half, Rutgers exploded with a flurry of three-pointers and a much-improved offense overall. The Scarlet Knights never let the game get close the rest of the night and cruised for a resounding 90-55 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson.

“We are doing a lot of great things,” said Rutgers head coach  Steve Pikiell. “We’re thankful for the crowd to come out in monsoon-like weather and hopefully they will want to come back. We are continuing to grow this program and play well together. Scoring 90 points is a good number. People like the way we play.”

Rutgers won both of its games against Fairleigh Dickinson since Pikiell took over control of the team in 2016, while the team has also gone 18-3 at home in games played outside the Big Ten since he joined the sidelines. Pikiell is also 2-0 in his season openers as Rutgers head coach.

A Very Balance Offense Lead The Way For The Scarlet Knights 

Six players scored in double figures, led by guard Peter Kiss, who was an efficient 7 of 9 from the field for a team-high 17 points. He showcased his versatility with his athleticism in getting to the rim, while also showing his ability to knock down shots from deep, making 3 of 4 attempts from three-point range.

Two freshmen making their debuts made an impact as well, as Ron Harper Jr. and Montez Mathis showed their ability on the offensive end. Harper Jr. finished with 15 points on 7 of 8 shooting and grabbed 5 rebounds off the bench. Mathis finished with 10 points, 5 boards, and 2 assists but struggled shooting overall, making just 3 of 11 shots from the field and 3 of 7 from the line.

Rutgers shot 60 percent from three against FDU on 12-for-20 shooting. The Scarlet Knights demonstrated massive improvement in their most glaring weakness from the first two years under Pikiell. They had never hit double-digit three-pointers in a game under Pikiell before Friday. It’s a great way to show improvement to a week area

Next Up For Rutgers

Rutgers returns to the hardwood on Sunday to host Drexel in a 3 p.m. tip-off at the RAC as part of the Hub City Classic.

 

Jason Cordner

Jason Cordner

Jason is the New York Liberty Beat Writer, Rutgers Football Beat Writer, and co-host of The Box Out, a basketball podcast for DoubleGSports.com.
Jason Cordner
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