There were limited style points in a 72-64 victory Tuesday for Rutgers over Fairleigh Dickinson but the win is more than satisfactory for a team that lost six of its last seven games.
After a weekend home loss to Monmouth, coach Eddie Jordan took an ultra-positive approach with his players and the result was a gutty second-half flurry and victory into a brief Christmas break.
"It was a satisfying win before the holidays," Jordan told reporters after the victory. "We did a lot of good things coming down the stretch. I was happy that we learned some things over the last few games that we could keep the lead."
Freshman guard Corey Sanders exploded yet again with a career-high 21 points. He remains the Big Ten's leading scorer among freshmen.
Senior Greg Lewis and freshman Jonathan Laurent gave good minutes in the paint. The banged up Lewis recorded his first-career double-double with 10 points and 14 boards against a small FDU lineup. Laurent chipped in 12 points.
"Corey – he was fantastic," Jordan said. "Jonathan made some good plays for himself, for his teammates. Defensively, I still wasn’t happy with how easy they scored. But, for the most part, we did a good job when we had to.”
Sophomore guard Mike Williams played more minutes at forward with the other injuries to big men. The result was his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Former Central Jersey standout Marques Townes logged nine points, four rebounds and three assists for FDU.