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Rutgers out to continue dominance of nearby foe Rider

Sportsnaut
Nov 10, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi (11) dunks against the Sacred Heart Pioneers during the second half at Jersey Mike's Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers needs to regroup and bounce back from its first loss of the season.

Considering how well the Scarlet Knights historically have fared against Rider, which is off to a tough start, they may do just that when the teams meet Tuesday night in Piscataway, N.J.

Rutgers (3-1) opened with three straight wins but looked far from a polished program. After rolling over Columbia and Sacred Heart, the Scarlet Knights shot 33.9 percent in an eight-point win over UMass Lowell.

On Friday, Rutgers trailed Temple by 15 at the half during the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase at Uncasville, Conn. The Scarlet Knights improved in the second half but shot 38.3 percent overall and 1 for 16 from 3-point range in a 72-66 defeat.

“We learned a lot about ourselves,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said.

“We have to play better and we have to play all 40 minutes. … We have to keep working.”

Rutgers was without injured backcourt starters Paul Mulcahy (shoulder) and Caleb McConnell (knee) on Friday. Pikiell said they’re taking things “game by game” with both. McConnell has yet to play this season for Rutgers, which shot a combined 4 of 32 from beyond the arc in the last two games.

However, 6-foot-11 Clifford Omoruyi has averaged 17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks this season, totaling 43 points with 26 boards in the last two contests. Teammate Cam Spencer is averaging 16.8 points.

Rutgers is 15-1 against local foe Rider and won the last three meetings. This will be the first meeting since 2012; they were set to renew the rivalry last season before the game was canceled due to COVID-19.

The Broncs (1-3) lost to Stetson and Central Arkansas in the Dublin Basketball Classic in Ireland. Rider, which opened the season with a one-point loss at Providence, recorded its lone win against Division III foe The College of New Jersey.

The Broncs allowed Central Arkansas to shoot 52.8 percent during a 90-85 loss and yielded 23 3-pointers over the two Ireland games. Broncs guard Dwight Murray Jr. scored 30 against Central Arkansas and is averaging 20.5 points while shooting 49.2 percent overall and 8 of 17 from distance.

“(Murray’s) been great,” Rider coach Kevin Baggett said. “We’ve got to get the other 12 or 13 guys around him to play better.”

–Field Level Media