Rutgers beats Fairleigh Dickinson 72-64
PISATAWAY, N.J. (AP) As Rutgers plays undersized and undermanned, Mike Williams was looking at the positives.
''I get more playing time,'' Williams said with a wry smile.
Corey Sanders scored a career-high 21 points, Williams scored 14 and Greg Lewis had his first career-double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead Rutgers past Farleigh Dickinson 72-64 on Wednesday night.
Rutgers (5-7) trailed 35-28 after FDU (4-7) started the second half on a 6-1 run. Sanders ended it with a pair of free throws with 16:15 remaining.
The Scarlet Knights tied the score six times in the second half while taking the lead only twice.
''It was like a video game,'' Williams said. ''You score one time then the other person comes down and scores. But it's basketball. It's a game of runs. They are going to have their run, we going to have our run, and sometimes, it's going to be nonstop scoring back and forth.''
The second lead for Rutgers was for good at 56-55 when Williams hit a free throw with 5:02 remaining. Rutgers coasted from there, ending the game on a 17-9 run.
''Just like in the NBA ... good players took over,'' FDU head coach Greg Herenda said. ''Sanders ... we really didn't have an answer for him. He's going to be a terrific player here.''
Mike Holloway had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Stephan Jiggets had 15 points for Farleigh Dickinson.
For much of the game, Rutgers appeared in danger of losing seven of its last eight. The Scarlet Knights went down by as many as 12 after Early Potts Jr. made a layup assisted by Marques Towns with 6:42 left in the first half.
Sanders tied the game at 27 with 1:41 left in the period on a pair of free throws and Darin Anderson's layup put FDU back in front before the half.
''I think they were just executing and breaking us down. They were penetrating a lot and getting shots,'' Sanders said. ''We were turning the ball over and they were taking it and scoring on the other end, so we stopped that in the second half and we got up.''
The Scarlet Knights are down to eight scholarship players and have three big men hurt. Shaquille Doorson (foot) has been out all season, DeShawn Freeman (knee) was injured at the end of November while Ibrahima Diallo foot was hurt prior to the last game.
Rutgers has three forwards left, including 6-foot-6 Jonathan Laurent. Because of the attrition in the frontcourt, Laurent has been forced to play power forward and center. Laurent finished with 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.
''It's been a challenge, but people got to step up and everyone is stepping up into their role,'' Williams said. ''John's coming in having some good minutes. ... That's what it's all about. When one person goes down, someone has to step up.''
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights struggled taking care of the basketball, especially in the first half, when they committed 11 of their 17 turnovers.
Farleigh Dickinson: This was the final tune up for the Knights before opening up Northeast Conference play to start the New Year.
FREE THROW STRUGGLES
Farleigh Dickinson had trouble from the charity stripe, hitting just 35 percent (7 of 20).
FREEMAN TO BE RE-EVALUTATED
Jordan said Freeman's sore knee will be evaluated on next Wednesday. When Jordan announced the injury at the beginning of December, he said the junior college transfer would be reevaluated every two weeks. ''It's going to be two weeks and probably another two weeks and we want to make sure he is 100 percent.''
Rutgers: hosts UMass Lowell on Monday night.
Farleigh Dickinson: hosts St. Francis Brooklyn on Jan. 2