NIAGARA
RUT

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Rutgers dominates Niagara, 86-39

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Rutgers put together its most dominating Division 1 win under head coach Steve Pikiell, overwhelming Niagara 86-39 on Sunday.

It was the largest margin of victory for Rutgers since Pikiell took over the program in 2016. The Scarlet Knights (2-0) recorded a 79-37 win in Pikiell's first season, but that occurred against Division 3 Central Connecticut State.

Rutgers was impressive on both ends of the court in Sunday's wire-to-wire win. It shot 59% from the field, distributed 22 assists on 35 baskets and forced 17 turnovers that led to 26 points.

Geo Baker led the attack with 22 points for Rutgers, scoring 22 points, 17 of them occurring in the second half when the Scarlet Knights outscored Niagara 47-24.

Akwasi Yeboah added 14 points for Rutgers, which led by as many as 42 points in the second half. Ten players scored for the Scarlet Knights with the reserves contributing 32.

For all of the gaudy offensive statistics his team piled up, it was the defensive performance that impressed Pikiell the most.

''I thought we were locked in,'' Pikiell said. ''Our screen coverage was excellent and they've created problems with their guards, too. I thought right from the opening tip were ready.''

On several Rutgers possessions the ball never touched the floor in the fluid half court movement.

''I just liked how we shared the ball,'' Pikiell said. ''When we settled in, we reversed it and we got good looks and so everybody was involved and that's how we need to play. Guys passed up good shots for great ones.''

It has been a tumultuous start to the season for Niagara, which hasn't had a winning season in six years. Patrick Beilein abruptly resigned as Niagara's head coach prior to the season. The school named former Duke star Greg Paulus as its new coach on Thursday, elevating him from assistant and signing him to a mulit-year contract.

Beilein, whose father John Beilein is in his first year as the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, has not commented since issuing a statement announcing his departure.

''Personal reasons I can no longer take lightly have led me to step away from my dream job,'' Patrick Beilein said. ''Going forward, I must give singular focus to dealing with these issues, so that I can become the man that I strive to be.''

Niagara has lost its two games by a total of 55 points.

''It's important for us to learn from this game,'' Paulus said. ''For us there's some things on film that we will be able to correct and work on. A quick turnaround here for us and then we play again in the next couple of days. So we'll try to use this and get better as a team.''

BIG PICTURE

Niagara: With two poor shooting performances in its first two games, Niagara must find a way to get to the free throw line. In losses to Drexel and Rutgers, the Purple Eagles have attempted just seven free throws.

Rutgers: This is the deepest and most experienced roster that coach Steve Pikiell has had in his four years here. Of the 11 scholarship players, nine have seen at least 12 minutes of action in the first two games.

UP NEXT

Niagara plays at Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday to conclude its three-game road trip to open the season.

Rutgers is home to Drexel on Wednesday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Lost ball turnover on Italo Cicotti, stolen by Peter Kiss 14.0
  Defensive rebound by Noah Waterman 31.0
  Luke Nathan missed hook shot 33.0
  Defensive rebound by Luke Nathan 50.0
  Justin Roberts missed 3-pt. jump shot 52.0
+ 2 Shaq Carter made jump shot, assist by Paul Mulcahy 1:08
+ 2 Justin Roberts made layup 1:25
  Offensive rebound by Justin Roberts 1:25
  Justin Roberts missed layup 1:26
  Offensive rebound by Justin Roberts 1:28
  Shandon Brown missed layup 1:30
Team Stats
Points 39 86
Field Goals 16-52 (30.8%) 35-59 (59.3%)
3-Pointers 5-19 (26.3%) 9-19 (47.4%)
Free Throws 2-3 (66.7%) 7-8 (87.5%)
Total Rebounds 22 38
Offensive 6 7
Defensive 15 28
Team 1 3
Assists 10 22
Steals 3 7
Blocks 4 6
Turnovers 15 9
Fouls 16 12
Technicals 0 0
8 PTS, 3 REB
22 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo Niagara 0-2 152439
home team logo Rutgers 2-0 394786
Team Stats
away team logo Niagara 0-2 61.0 PPG 28.7 RPG 13.0 APG
home team logo Rutgers 2-0 73.7 PPG 48 RPG 15.0 APG
Key Players
0
J. Roberts G 8.0 PPG 1.7 RPG 0.3 APG 40.9 FG%
0
G. Baker G 14.0 PPG 5.0 RPG 4.7 APG 47.1 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Roberts G 8 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
G. Baker G 22 PTS 3 REB 4 AST
30.8 FG% 59.3
26.3 3PT FG% 47.4
66.7 FT% 87.5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Hammond 7 2 1 3/6 1/2 0/0 2 24 0 0 3 0 2
J. Towns 4 2 2 1/5 0/0 2/3 0 20 0 0 2 0 2
G. Kuakumensah 4 3 0 2/6 0/1 0/0 4 15 0 2 1 2 1
R. Solomon 4 2 2 2/7 0/1 0/0 3 23 0 1 0 1 1
N. MacDonald 0 0 0 0/4 0/4 0/0 1 14 0 0 0 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Hammond 7 2 1 3/6 1/2 0/0 2 24 0 0 3 0 2
J. Towns 4 2 2 1/5 0/0 2/3 0 20 0 0 2 0 2
G. Kuakumensah 4 3 0 2/6 0/1 0/0 4 15 0 2 1 2 1
R. Solomon 4 2 2 2/7 0/1 0/0 3 23 0 1 0 1 1
N. MacDonald 0 0 0 0/4 0/4 0/0 1 14 0 0 0 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Roberts 8 3 0 3/10 2/5 0/0 1 19 1 0 1 2 1
N. Waterman 6 3 1 2/4 2/4 0/0 0 26 0 0 3 0 3
N. Kratholm 4 2 1 2/4 0/0 0/0 3 18 0 1 1 0 2
S. Brown 2 2 3 1/2 0/0 0/0 1 17 2 0 1 0 2
S. Levnaic 0 2 0 0/4 0/2 0/0 1 17 0 0 0 1 1
I. Cicotti 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 7 0 0 3 0 0
T. Syroka - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Nwandu - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Engelhardt - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 39 21 10 16/52 5/19 2/3 16 200 3 4 15 6 15
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Baker 22 3 4 8/11 3/5 3/3 1 27 1 2 1 0 3
C. McConnell 9 0 2 4/7 1/3 0/0 1 22 1 1 0 0 0
M. Mathis 9 4 2 3/9 1/2 2/2 2 20 3 0 0 0 4
R. Harper Jr. 8 8 1 4/6 0/1 0/0 0 24 1 0 1 3 5
M. Johnson 6 6 1 3/3 0/0 0/0 0 19 0 0 2 2 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Baker 22 3 4 8/11 3/5 3/3 1 27 1 2 1 0 3
C. McConnell 9 0 2 4/7 1/3 0/0 1 22 1 1 0 0 0
M. Mathis 9 4 2 3/9 1/2 2/2 2 20 3 0 0 0 4
R. Harper Jr. 8 8 1 4/6 0/1 0/0 0 24 1 0 1 3 5
M. Johnson 6 6 1 3/3 0/0 0/0 0 19 0 0 2 2 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Yeboah 14 6 2 5/7 2/3 2/2 0 17 0 0 1 1 5
J. Young 8 2 4 3/7 2/4 0/0 3 19 0 0 2 1 1
M. Doucoure 4 1 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 1 9 0 1 0 0 1
P. Mulcahy 4 3 6 2/3 0/0 0/1 3 18 0 0 0 0 3
S. Carter 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 13 0 2 1 0 1
P. Kiss 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 7 1 0 0 0 0
J. Downes 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0
L. Nathan 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
N. Brooks 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
D. Lobach - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 86 35 22 35/59 9/19 7/8 12 200 7 6 9 7 28