Sat, 16 Jan 2021

Harper scores 30 to lead No. 24 Rutgers past Knights

Field Level Media
28 Nov 2020, 12:40 GMT+10

Ron Harper Jr. scored a career-high 30 points and Jacob Young added 24 points as No. 24 Rutgers pulled away from pesky visiting Fairleigh Dickinson, 96-75, in a battle of New Jersey schools Friday night.

Young also had seven assists for Rutgers, which improved to 2-0. Montez Mathis finished with 15 points for the Scarlet Knights, who recorded nine blocks, including four in just 15 minutes by Myles Johnson.

Senior Geo Baker, a first-team all-Big 10 preseason pick, sat out with an ankle injury suffered Wednesday against Sacred Heart.

Brandon Rush and Jahlil Jenkins scored 16 points apiece while Pier-Olivier Racine had a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) for Fairleigh Dickinson, which fell to 0-2. Callum Baker had 11 points.

Fairleigh Dickinson, which plays in the Northeast Conference and had just seven players play more than 10 minutes in a season-opening 84-66 loss to Quinnipiac on Wednesday night, didn't seem fazed by playing a Big 10 opponent as it led for much of the first half. The Knights forced eight turnovers and collected five offensive rebounds that led to eight points in the first 14 minutes.

Elyjah Williams' layup 4:33 into the game gave the Knights an 11-9 lead. Fairleigh Dickinson led for the next 11-plus minutes and went up by 26-19 on a 3-pointer by Rush with 8:45 left.

But Rutgers scored the next seven points to begin a half-ending 28-7 run. Fairleigh Dickinson took its final lead on a putback by Racine with 6:15 left. The 6-foot-7 Williams picked up his third foul 22 seconds later and Young's go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:20 remaining began a 14-0 spurt in which Harper scored eight points. Young's layup with 32 seconds left gave the Scarlet Knights a 47-33 halftime lead.

Fairleigh Dickinson hung around and got within 62-53 on a jumper by Joe Munden Jr. with 13:42 left but could get no closer. Rutgers finally pulled away with a 12-0 run that ended with a pair of free throws by Cliff Omoruyi that extended the lead to 78-55 with 7:23 remaining. The Scarlet Knights led by 24 points a handful of times.

--Field Level Media

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