Rutgers starts fast, rolls past Central Connecticut 79-48

Jan 1, 2022, 2:22 AM | Updated: 4:23 pm

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Clifford Omoruyi had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Rutgers built a 45-point lead early in the second half en route to a 79-48 victory over Central Connecticut on Saturday.

The Scarlet Knights led 44-14 at halftime then went on a 20-5 run to open the second half before weary Central Connecticut found any consistency on offense.

Geo Baker scored 11 points for Rutgers (7-5) and had seven of the Scarlet Knights’ 25 assists. Paul Mulcahy had eight points and eight assists. Backup forward Aundre Hyatt had nine points and nine rebounds.

Rutgers opened the game with a 15-3 run and closed the first half with a 15-0 run for its 44-14 lead. Central Connecticut shot 14% in the first half and made only one 2-point field goal.

Stephane Ayangma had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (4-11). Joe Ostrowsky also scored 12 points.

Central Connecticut finished at 27% shooting. Rutgers shot 50% and had a 49-31 rebounding advantage.

Rutgers was playing just its third game since upsetting then-No. 1 Purdue on Dec. 9. The Scarlet Knights originally scheduled Central Connecticut on Dec. 23 but had to reschedule due to COVID protocols in the Rutgers program. The new game day meant the Blue Devils had to play on back-to-back days after defeating St. Francis (New York) on Friday.

Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell was an assistant coach at CCSU from 1997-2001.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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Rutgers starts fast, rolls past Central Connecticut 79-48