Rutgers rallies in second half to defeat Merrimack 48-35

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Ron Harper Jr. and Cliff Omoruyi both had double-doubles and Rutgers rallied in the second half to defeat Merrimack 48-35 on Saturday.

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% from the field and Merrimack hit on just 23%.

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