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Rutgers cruises to easy win over Maine

Sportsnaut
Dec 30, 2021; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi (11) dunks against Maine Black Bears forward Ata Turgut (4) during the first half at Jersey Mike's Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 30, 2021; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi (11) dunks against Maine Black Bears forward Ata Turgut (4) during the first half at Jersey Mike’s Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Harper, Jr. scored 19 points Thursday to lead four players in double figures as Rutgers dumped Maine 80-64 in a nonconference game in Piscataway, N.J.

Clifford Omoruyi added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (6-5), while Paul Mulcahy hit for 14 points and Caleb McConnell chipped in 13. Rutgers connected on 52.9 percent of its shots from the field, the first time this season it’s made more than 50 percent.

LeChaun DuHart canned four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points for the Black Bears (3-8), which haven’t beaten a single Division I team this season. Ata Turgut added a career-high 15, going 6 of 8 from the field.

Maine, which has experienced offensive problems for most of the season, connected on 42.1 percent of its shots, going 9 of 22 on 3-pointers. But the Black Bears hurt their chances at an upset by committing 15 turnovers.

The Scarlet Knights trailed for just 13 seconds, but never really put Maine away until a late run down the stretch allowed them to stretch the lead to 80-60 on Mulcahy’s deep 3-pointer with 1:44 remaining. Mulcahy was 4 of 4 from behind the arc as Rutgers went 10 of 20 as a team.

Rutgers established a 15-8 lead when Geo Baker stroked a transition 3-pointer with 14:04 left in the first half. The Scarlet Knights upped the margin to 25-13 when Baker drilled another 3-pointer with 8:59 left.

Maine was able to find a bit of traction after that, though, cutting the deficit to 29-22 when Adefolalrin Adetogun hit a layup with 5:55 remaining. Rutgers responded with 11 consecutive points, Omoruyi dunking on the fast break for a 40-22 cushion with 1:33 on the clock.

However, the Black Bears ended the half with some momentum, putting together an 8-2 run. Adetogun stole the ball and converted a layup just before time expired, enabling them to head for the break down 42-30.

The Scarlet Knights hit 55.2 percent of their first half shots and passed the ball well. Twelve of their 16 buckets in the half had an assist attached to them.

–Field Level Media