The Rutgers men’s basketball team doesn’t need to be reminded how dangerous mid-major foes can be.
Good thing, because a symbol of the one of the biggest Cinderellas of all-time will be in New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.
Rutgers will look to build its first winning streak of the season when the Scarlet Knights host Bryant in Piscataway, N.J.
Both teams earned wins in their previous games. Rutgers rode a big second-half run to pull away and defeat visiting Boston University, 69-45, on Friday. Host Bryant earned a 140-79 victory over Fisher College, an NAIA school, on Wednesday afternoon.
Rutgers (1-1) lost to Hofstra 88-86 in overtime in the first round of the NIT in March and opened its season Monday by falling to Princeton — fresh off a Sweet Sixteen appearance — 68-61 in Trenton, N.J.. The Scarlet Knights spotted Boston University a five-point lead in the first half Friday before heading into the locker room up 30-22.
The Scarlet Knights then removed any doubt by outscoring the Terriers 28-8 over the first 10 minutes of the second half. Rutgers out-rebounded Boston University 48-28 after Princeton held a 39-35 edge on the boards on Monday.
“I liked the way everyone responded — Princeton was really good, but I was really disappointed in our ability to rebound,” Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell said. “We were a lot more physical today.”
Bryant (1-1), which was picked third in the nine-team America East, will be looking for its first Division I win of the season. The Bulldogs fell to Manhattan, 61-59, on Monday.
Twelve players scored in the lopsided win over Fisher, including Doug Edert, the fifth-year senior and New Jersey native who transferred to the Rhode Island school after helping Saint Peter’s — located in Jersey City — reach the Elite Eight as a no. 15 seed in March 2022.
The homecoming will be the second for Edert, who scored five points in Bryant’s 79-78 win over New Jersey Institute of Technology on Feb. 22.
The game Sunday will mark the third for Bryant under acting head coach Phil Martelli Jr., who took over the reins when Jared Grasso was placed on administrative leave.
“We’re just trying to block out all the distractions and trying to keep our heads focused on winning basketball games,” Edert told the Asbury Park Press. “We’re a mature group.”
–Field Level Media
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