RU upends Rider in OT, 80-70

Junior college transfer James Beatty had a night to remember, scoring a career-high 21 points to help Rutgers to the 80-70 overtime win against Rider. Beatty made 6 of 8 shots from 3-point range and also had four assists and four rebounds. Forward Jonathan Mitchell added a career-high 17 points for the Scarlet Knights, who improved to 7-2, the best nine-game start in coach Fred Hill's tenure.

It was another of those games Rutgers may have lost a year ago, but found a way to pull out a hard-fought victory.

Point guard James Beatty scored a career-high 21 points off the bench and Rider was held to one field goal in the final seven minutes, including going scoreless in overtime, as the Scarlet Knights beat their in-state neighbors 80-70 Tuesday at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

The Scarlet Knights (7-2) did not make a field goal in overtime, but did go 10 of 14 from the free throw line. Rider (7-5) missed its eight shots from the field in the extra session.

Not only did Beatty, in his first year at Rutgers after playing at Miami Dade junior college, make 6 of 8 shots from 3-point range, but he added four assists and four rebounds without committing a turnover.

"I think he had seven games in junior college where he made five or more threes,'' Rutgers coach Fred Hill said in his postgame press conference. "So, he's certainly a capable shooter. He just distributes the ball real well. Tonight, he got open looks and he buried them.''

Junior forward Jonathan Mitchell scored a career-high 17 points, Mike Rosario chipped in 18 and center Hamady Ndiaye had nine points, 11 rebounds and blocked six shots.

The Broncs were led by Ryan Thompson's 26 points. Mike Ringold added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The game was close throughout, with Rider taking a 68-66 lead on Novar Gadson's lay-in with 2:35 to play.

But Beatty responded with a 3-pointer and Rosario made a free throw as Rutgers took a 70-68 lead. But after a few failed possessions on each side, Thompson scored on a third-chance putback with 12.7 seconds remaining to tie it at 70-70.

Mitchell had a chance to win it in regulation, but his 6-footer with a few seconds left was short. "We've got to clean up our rebounding. They had 18 offensive rebounds,'' Hill said. "It's something we've got to work on. We've worked very hard on it. We're just not real big and we're a little bit tired.''

While the overtime was anticlimactic, with the Broncs missing every shot and Rutgers overcoming free throw shooting woes in regular (4 of 10), it gave the Scarlet Knights their first win against a team with a winning record this season.

"They scored 31 points in the second half, shoot 37 percent, and they don't score in overtime,'' Hill said. "Can't talk enough about the defensive performance, and it started out at the point with (Beatty).''

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