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Sanders leads Rutgers past NJIT 73-64

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Corey Sanders left the arena Tuesday night frustrated. After a 2-of-15 shooting performance against No. 3 Michigan State, Rutgers' star guard felt he let his team down and kept them from a potential upset in the 62-52 loss.

But Sanders had 18 points on Thursday night to help the Scarlet Knights beat NJIT 73-64.

''That's just now how I play basketball. I know it's a team sport, but you always have to rate yourself after performances. That (Michigan State) was a big game for us. I feel like if I had did more, that game could have been different,'' Sanders said. ''To get back over the hump - I feel like I did tonight - it just feels good.''

Sanders was 8 of 15 from the floor, and Deshawn Freeman added 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting for Rutgers. Eugene Omoruyi chipped in 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Anthony Tarke led NJIT (5-4) with 19 points, 12 rebounds and four steals while Abdul Lewis chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds.

NJIT jumped out to a 7-0 less than four minutes into the game. Rutgers overcame the deficit by the midpoint of the first half, and things went back and forth before Rutgers took a 33-32 halftime lead.

''I was nice and quiet and shy in the locker room (at halftime),'' Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell joked. ''It was good. Just tried to get them a little more focused to how we play. I want to play Rutgers basketball. In Rutgers basketball we rebound, we don't give teams 23 offensive rebounds. We run, we're active, we're diving for loose balls, we're spacing the floor. But, we weren't doing that.''

The message was received as Rutgers stretched the lead to 17 after Geo Baker made a 3-pointer with 8:58 remaining.

''They made some shots . We missed some easy baskets and they did a good job of defending. We didn't cut through contact, we didn't move the ball the way that I would've liked to,'' NJIT coach Brian Kennedy said. ''Hats off to Rutgers for their defense. I think they ratcheted up their defense at the beginning of the second half during that run.''

BIG PICTURE

NJIT: Just a few years removed from the longest active losing streak for a NCAA Division I team, the Highlanders missed out on the first 6-3 start in school history. With Rutgers and games against then-No. 19 Seton Hall and then-No. 18 West Virginia behind them, the Highlanders have several winnable games before ASUN Conference play starts.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights enter a reprieve after getting a taste of Big Ten play at No. 12 Minnesota and home against No. 3 Michigan State. With the back-to-back losses behind them, Rutgers can add a few more wins before conference play resumes with the remainder of the non-conference schedule against inferior opponents outside of No. 19 Seton Hall.

STEALING THE SHOW

NJIT had 15 steals, nine of which came in the first half. Tarke and Zach Cooks each had four.

''That's kind of our identity,'' Kennedy said. ''We play full-court, man-to-man defense. I usually play a lot of guys at a lot of minutes. We try to keep the pressure on defensively and try and pick up full court, and use our numbers and our guards that we have to cause some disruptions.''

NO REST FOR THE WEARY

Rutgers is in the midst of playing five games in a 10-day span.

''Just a tough stretch, other people have it too,'' Pikiell said. ''We just seem to have a lot of games. We've played some terrific teams. Florida State, and the stretch we were on with Minnesota and Michigan State too, those were physical games.''

UP NEXT

NJIT host Iona on Saturday afternoon.

Rutgers hosts another intrastate team in Farleigh Dickinson on Saturday night.

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Key Players
A. Lewis
C. Sanders
29.7 Min. Per Game 29.7
11.9 Pts. Per Game 11.9
3.7 Ast. Per Game 3.7
4.8 Reb. Per Game 4.8
44.2 Field Goal % 35.5
12.5 Three Point % 24.2
58.6 Free Throw % 68.0
  Defensive rebound by Eugene Omoruyi 8.0
  Donovan Greer missed 3-pt. jump shot 10.0
+ 1 Geo Baker made 2nd of 2 free throws 14.0
  Geo Baker missed 1st of 2 free throws 14.0
  Personal foul on David Kachelries 14.0
+ 3 Donovan Greer made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Shyquan Gibbs 18.0
  Lost ball turnover on Corey Sanders 20.0
+ 1 Issa Thiam made 2nd of 2 free throws 44.0
+ 1 Issa Thiam made 1st of 2 free throws 44.0
  Flagrant foul on Abdul Lewis 44.0
  Personal foul on Abdul Lewis 44.0
Team Stats
Points 64 73
Field Goals 23-75 (30.7%) 29-50 (58.0%)
3-Pointers 5-28 (17.9%) 3-8 (37.5%)
Free Throws 13-19 (68.4%) 12-23 (52.2%)
Total Rebounds 42 40
Offensive 21 9
Defensive 19 29
Team 2 2
Assists 13 9
Steals 15 8
Blocks 2 9
Turnovers 12 19
Fouls 23 16
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST
18 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo New Jersey Tech 5-4 323264
home team logo Rutgers 7-3334073
Team Stats
away team logoNew Jersey Tech 5-4 74.9 PPG 38.3 RPG 13.9 APG
home team logoRutgers 7-3 69.5 PPG 44.5 RPG 11.5 APG
Key Players
12
A. Tarke G/F 14.7 PPG 5.8 RPG 1.8 APG 40.2 FG%
3
C. Sanders G 14.4 PPG 4.5 RPG 3.6 APG 39.9 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Tarke G/F 19 PTS 12 REB 1 AST
C. Sanders G 18 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
30.7 FG% 58.0
17.9 3PT FG% 37.5
68.4 FT% 52.2
New Jersey Tech
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Tarke 36 19 12 1 4 0 3 3 8/22 1/6 2/3 6 6
A. Lewis 27 14 7 0 0 0 2 5 5/11 0/0 4/8 5 2
R. Walsh 19 5 2 2 3 0 0 1 2/5 1/2 0/0 1 1
S. Gibbs 22 4 5 3 2 1 0 4 0/3 0/0 4/4 1 4
D. Wilson 23 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0/10 0/5 0/0 0 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Tarke 36 19 12 1 4 0 3 3 8/22 1/6 2/3 6 6
A. Lewis 27 14 7 0 0 0 2 5 5/11 0/0 4/8 5 2
R. Walsh 19 5 2 2 3 0 0 1 2/5 1/2 0/0 1 1
S. Gibbs 22 4 5 3 2 1 0 4 0/3 0/0 4/4 1 4
D. Wilson 23 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0/10 0/5 0/0 0 0
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
D. Greer 20 10 5 3 0 0 1 4 4/12 2/8 0/0 1 4
Z. Cooks 18 5 2 1 4 0 1 0 1/4 1/3 2/2 2 0
M. Bendary 13 4 4 1 1 0 4 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 2 2
S. Brinson 9 3 3 0 0 1 1 0 1/1 0/0 1/2 3 0
C. Jenkins 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 0
S. Jones 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
D. Kachelries 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 0
T. Price - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 64 40 13 15 2 12 23 23/75 5/28 13/19 21 19
Rutgers
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Sanders 35 18 3 3 2 0 2 2 8/15 1/2 1/4 0 3
D. Freeman 28 13 2 2 2 1 2 2 6/8 0/0 1/2 1 1
G. Baker 30 11 4 4 2 1 6 3 3/7 1/3 4/6 0 4
I. Thiam 24 9 5 0 0 1 0 2 3/5 1/3 2/2 1 4
M. Doucoure 15 0 3 0 0 1 1 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Sanders 35 18 3 3 2 0 2 2 8/15 1/2 1/4 0 3
D. Freeman 28 13 2 2 2 1 2 2 6/8 0/0 1/2 1 1
G. Baker 30 11 4 4 2 1 6 3 3/7 1/3 4/6 0 4
I. Thiam 24 9 5 0 0 1 0 2 3/5 1/3 2/2 1 4
M. Doucoure 15 0 3 0 0 1 1 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
E. Omoruyi 18 11 6 0 0 1 1 1 5/9 0/0 1/3 1 5
M. Williams 25 9 6 0 1 1 4 1 3/4 0/0 3/3 4 2
C. Sa 18 2 8 0 1 3 1 1 1/1 0/0 0/3 2 6
S. Doorson 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
S. Mensah 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
J. Dadika - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bullock - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Downes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Nathan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 73 38 9 8 9 19 16 29/50 3/8 12/23 9 29