After rebounding from its first loss of the season, Rutgers has one more tune-up before a slate of power-conference competition when it hosts winless Central Connecticut State on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.
The Scarlet Knights (4-1) won’t want to get caught looking ahead, though a road trip to Miami, the first two Big Ten games of the season against No. 11 Indiana and Ohio State and a rivalry game against Seton Hall are awaiting them.
They handled business in their most recent outing, a 76-46 romp over Rider on Tuesday. Clifford Omoruyi had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Cam Spencer put up 19 points and four steals for Rutgers.
Coach Steve Pikiell was pleased with how his team responded after its first loss of the season, a 72-66 defeat to Temple.
“It’s how you get off the mat,” Pikiell said. “These guys practiced like they didn’t like the taste of losing. I certainly didn’t. We got a chance, but we have to just keep getting better in a lot of areas and guys gotta understand their minutes and how important every minute is at the college level. But they’re doing what they need to do.”
Spencer is averaging 4.0 steals per game, second in the country. Rutgers has been playing without reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Caleb McConnell, who’s recovering from a knee injury, while fellow starting guard Paul Mulcahy has missed two straight with a shoulder issue.
Central Connecticut State (0-6) was one of 10 winless teams remaining in Division I entering Friday’s games. The Blue Devils dropped their past three games by a combined 15 points, most recently a 66-58 loss to Maine on Wednesday.
“We’re just trying to stay positive. Of course we’re 0-6 but we’re trying to go out there and be as positive as possible,” junior guard Kellen Amos said, per the Bristol Press. “Against like opponents, we’re losing by a margin of five points or less and every single game it’s a different major mistake we’re making.”
Amos had team highs of 13 points and six rebounds against Maine. He’s the Blue Devils’ leading scorer at 12.8 points per game, followed by Nigel Scantlebury (11.7) and Davonte Sweatman (11.2).
Omoruyi is averaging 18.0 points and 10.8 rebounds to lead Rutgers.
–Field Level Media