By Lance Glinn
The Rutgers men’s basketball team improved their record to 1-1 with a 17-point victory over the Farleigh Dickinson Knights 61-44 in front of a small crowd of 4,102 at the RAC Wednesday night. Junior guard Bishop Daniels led Rutgers with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field in 34 minutes. Sophomore forward Junior Etou also notched his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes played for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights led throughout most of the game with Farleigh Dickinson’s only lead being 2-0 with 19:17 left in the first half.
Although Rutgers accomplished their first win of the season, the team failed to close out and bury Farleigh Dickinson, as turnovers again plagued the Scarlet Knights. With 18 total turnovers in the game by Rutgers, 11 of which came in the second half, Greg Herenda’s Knights were able to claw their way back into the game, cutting the lead to 7 with 4:30 left to play on a Matt Macdonald layup.
Myles Mack took back all momentum on a three pointer at 3:49 of the second half from the middle of the key with no time left on the shot clock to bring the lead back to double digits. Coach Eddie Jordan, happy that a shot like that went in Rutgers favor, said postgame that, “We’ve had those happen to us in the past. Even last year, they hit a three at the end of the clock that was a big shot for them. But you’ve got to get lucky sometimes, and you work hard for your luck.”
Coach Jordan went on to praise both Etou and Daniels for their leadership and outstanding play during the game saying “They were great, I hated to take them off the floor. Bishop made some great plays, just fundamentally sound plays, and Junior was just a stud defensively, guarding guys in the post, 4’s and 5’s and 3’s, and guarding on the perimeter”.
This was certainly a magnanimous game for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensively, holding Farleigh Dickinson’s two leading scorers, Matt Macdonald and Mustafaa Jones, to a combined 19 points and the Knights to 30 percent shooting on 18 for 60 from the field, and holding them to only 8 attempted free throws.
Rutgers was again without star forward Kadeem Jack and Coach Eddie Jordan is unsure if he will be available for the Scarlet Knights’ next game, saying that “we have a day off tomorrow, so Friday he will get on the floor with his team and see how it goes, and hopefully he is ready for Sunday”.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights return to the RAC on Sunday, November 23rd, against the St. Francis – Brooklyn Terriers in their opening game of the Barclays Classic. Tip off is scheduled for 5:00 PM and will be broadcast on WRSU 88.7 FM.