Ron Harper Jr. and Cliff Omoruyi both had double-doubles and Rutgers rallied in the second half to defeat Merrimack 48-35 on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.
Harper had 13 points and 11 rebounds to go with Omoruyi’s 11 points and 13 rebounds.
After trailing 23-16 at halftime, Rutgers (2-0) opened the second half with a drawn-out 13-6 run and the score was tied at 29 when the Scarlet Knights’ Harper made one of two free throws at the 9:46 mark. Harper scored in the paint about a minute later, giving Rutgers the lead for good while Merrimack was in the midst of a 8 1/2-minute scoreless drought.
Merrimack (2-1) was stuck on 29 points from the 13:18 mark until Mikey Watkins scored with 4:51 to go. By that time Rutgers was ahead 40-31. Wakins led the Warriors with 12 points.
Rutgers made only five field goals and committed 10 turnovers in the first half. The second half was more than just a turnaround, as Rutgers outscored the Warriors 32-12.
Only five players scored for Rutgers — six for Merrimack — but the Scarlet Knights had a 17-3 advantage in bench scoring. Rutgers shot 31 percent from the field and Merrimack hit on just 23%.
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