PISCATAWAY, New Jersey — Bishop Daniels scored 18 points and Rutgers used a big first half to take a 61-44 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday night.
Junior Etou had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (1-1), who avenged last season's one-point loss to their in-state rival. Myles Mack added nine points, seven assists and six rebounds. It was Etou's first career double-double.
Fairleigh Dickinson (2-1) got 15 points from Mustafaa Jones.
The Scarlet Knights used an aggressive man-to-man defense to hold FDU to 17.6 percent shooting (6 for 34) in the first half. Led by Daniels and Etou, Rutgers steadily built its lead with 56.5 percent shooting from the field.
Holding an 18-9 advantage midway through the half, the Scarlet Knights closed with a 19-7 run over the final 10:24 to open a 37-16 lead. FDU got within 47-40 before Rutgers pulled away.
Rutgers came out sloppy after intermission as five turnovers led to 10 straight points by FDU. Daniels hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to stop the run and give the Scarlet Knights a 40-26 lead.
Trailing 45-28, FDU went on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to seven. Mack then hit a 3-pointer as the 30-second buzzer went off with 3:49 left, and the Knights would not get the deficit under double figures again.
Rutgers offense cooled in the second half as it shot just 24 percent from the field and finished the game at 39.6 percent (19 for 48). Helped by eight rebounds from Greg Lewis the Scarlet Knights had a 49-30 advantage on the boards.
Rutgers: First-year assistant coach Greg Vetrone faced his old team for the first time, as he was FDU's head coach from 2009-13. Rutgers improved to 10-2 against the Knights. Rutgers played its second straight game without top big man Kadeem Jack, who sat out with a sprained thumb.
Fairleigh Dickinson: The Knights entered the game ranked in the top 20 nationally in steals (tied for 10th, 22), 3-pointers made (15th, 21), assists (17th, 38) and steals per game (tied for 19th, 11.0). FDU was attempting to go 3-0 for the first time since 2002.
Rutgers hosts St. Francis-Brooklyn in Barclays Classic game on Sunday
FDU visits Columbia on Tuesday.
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