Derek Simpson scored a career-high 23 points and led Rutgers to an 85-63 win over visiting Howard on Saturday night in Piscataway, N.J.
Simpson, one of four Rutgers scorers in double figures, shot 7-for-10 from the field and 2-for-2 from the arc as the Scarlet Knights (4-1) won their fourth straight game.
Clifford Omoruyi racked up 15 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks for Rutgers. Aundre Hyatt and Noah Fernandes each scored 12 points, with Fernandes adding five steals.
The Scarlet Knights shot 54.2 percent (32-of-59), including 58.6 percent (17-of-29) in the second half to pull away.
Marcus Dockery led Howard (2-3) with 16 points and Seth Towns added 10. Those two players made seven of the Bison’s 10 3 -pointers that helped them stay close for the majority of the night. Bryce Harris had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Rutgers started the game 3-for-12 from the floor and fell behind 14-8 as a result. The Scarlet Knights then ripped off the next 15 points.
The run was ignited by Fernandes’ layup at the shot-clock buzzer, Gavin Griffiths’ fast-break dunk and Fernandes’ 3-pointer in a 60-second span that woke up the student section.
Omoruyi’s short jumper in the lane concluded the run at the 6:53 mark of the half. The Bison went 6:42 of game time between points and missed eight straight shots in that span.
Rutgers led by as many as 12 in the half before Howard whittled that margin to five. But Simpson’s 3-pointer off an inbounds play at the first-half buzzer put Rutgers up 39-31 entering the locker room.
Simpson had 13 points in the half to lead all scorers and Rutgers was 50 percent from the floor (15-for-30).
Rutgers stretched its lead to 11 again before 3-pointers from Dockery (twice), Joshua Strong and Towns in a short span made it a two-possession game. The Scarlet Knights got a jolt of energy from Griffiths’ baseline dunk with 10:30 left, and Omoruyi delivered a two-handed dunk over his defender just 38 seconds later.
Hyatt and Fernandes drilled 3-pointers on the next two possessions to make it 65-53, and it wound up part of an 18-3 run that put the game to bed.
–Field Level Media
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