Rutgers almost had the RAC in meltdown mode when sophomore guard Mike Williams officially took over.
Tied with Division III Rutgers-Newark after 20 minutes, Williams transformed himself into the best player on the court in an eventual 72-59 victory.
Williams led Rutgers on a 24-10 run to start the second half, and finished with the best stat line of his college career.
“To be honest, I kind of cheated,” said Williams, who scored 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists. “Every time D.J. [Foreman] and DeShawn [Freeman] boxed out, and they couldn’t get the rebound, I was just right there to grab it. That’s pretty much all I did.”
Junior forward DeShawn Freeman made a difference when he took the court after a one-half suspension.
Freeman sat with an unspecified rules violation before his 13 points in 17 minutes helped Rutgers pull away.
“Sometimes [it’s] having another good player,” Jordan said. “DeShawn made a difference.”
Rutgers (1-0) returns to the RAC Sunday afternoon to play Howard.
“Maybe what you saw tonight wasn’t our real, true starters because it could be some changes when Sunday comes,” Jordan said.
- Freshman Jonathan Laurent made his first career start in the game
- In his Rutgers debut, junior college transfer DeShawn Freeman sat out the first half for an unspecified team rules violation.
- Credit sophomore D.J. Foreman with the first basket of the 2015-16 season. Foreman dunked off of a fast break before an ill-advised foul put him on the bench after his basket.
- Sophomore guard Mike Williams logged career highs in both rebounding and steals with _ and _ respectively. It was his first career double-double.
- Fouls became an issue for Rutgers in the post without Freeman or Shaq Doorson available in the first half. Rutgers used a four-guard rotation in the first half with the 6-foot-8 Foreman at the five.