Rutgers races past Morgan State, 72-58
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) C.J. Gettys knows what it’s like being a low-major team going to play at a high-major school. Rutgers’ grad-transfer is from UNC-Wilmington, where he took trips to Georgetown, Iowa State and Iowa.
So the fact that Morgan State jumped out to an early lead against Rutgers came as no surprise to Gettys.
Deshawn Freeman had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Scarlet Knights past Morgan State 72-58 on Saturday night.
It was Freeman’s fifth double-double this season. Gettys added 15 points for Rutgers (7-1). Nigel Johnson had 12 points and Mike Williams chipped in 10 points.
“It’s not nothing to lose, but any time you’re a low-major school like that and you go into a big conference school you don’t need any motivation to play as hard as you can,” Gettys said. “You have to go in with a chip on your shoulder and a lot of energy. That’s your fighting chance.”
Tiwian Kendley had 26 points and Phillip Carr had 15 points for Morgan State (2-6).
Coming off the first loss of the season at Miami on Wednesday night, Rutgers appeared to be in a malaise at the start.
“I definitely felt a little sluggish,” Freeman said. “I didn’t grab that many rebounds and we kind of picked it up in the second half. We have to pick it up in the first half.”
Morgan State jumped out to a seven-point lead three times in the first half, but after a 19-12 lead, Rutgers went on a 13-0 run to make it 25-19 with 4:27 left in the first half.
“They tapped on our chest and we had to tap back and I think we did that,” Gettys said. “We responded appropriately.”
Rutgers led by as many as 15, leading 46-31 with 13:46 to go.
“They are who we thought they were,” Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman said. “They don’t have a lot of shooters but they’re big, extremely big. They rebound. They average 48 rebounds a game. That’s impressive.”
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights are 6-0 at home for the first time since 2010-11 and have already matched their victory total (seven) for the entire 2015-16 campaign with their first game in December.
Morgan State: Phillip Carr continued his defensive dominance to start the season. After being named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week on Nov. 28, the junior forward had three blocks against Rutgers.
It was the first meeting between the schools.
Both teams struggled from beyond the arc. Rutgers shot 12.5 percent on 2-of-16 shooting from 3-point range while Morgan State made 5 of 27 for 18.5 percent.
CLEANING THE OFFENSIVE GLASS
Rutgers continued its dominance on the offensive glass. After entering the game with a nation-leading 17.9 offensive rebounds per game, Rutgers pulled down 18 offensive boards.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights host Central Connecticut State on Tuesday.
Morgan State: The Bears return home to host Manhattan on Tuesday.