Baker’s first double-double leads Rutgers past FDU
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Geo Baker was known for his shooting abilities on the recruiting circuit. It turns out he can be a good facilitator too.
The freshman had his first career double-double with 19 points and 11 assists, while fellow backcourt mates Corey Sanders had 19 points and Mike Williams had 17 points to lead Rutgers past Fairleigh Dickinson 92-54 Saturday night.
The trio was efficient from the floor as Baker went 7 of 11 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line, Sanders went 8-of-14 shooting and Williams was 5 of 7 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.
”It’s showing now that if we keep things together we can be a really scary backcourt,” Sanders said.
While Baker’s distributing was impressive, coach Steve Pikiell was happier that he cut down his turnovers after six the previous game against NJIT.
”To go 11 and 1, I’m more excited about the one turnover,” Pikiell said.
Baker attested the change from two nights ago to making sure he was locked in.
”Me and coach had a really good conversation after the last game just talking about being focused every game and every game counts,” Baker said. ”I came in today and I brought that focus and wanted to share the ball.”
FDU took a 6-3 lead at 17:59 when Darnell Edge hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Darian Anderson. That’s as long as it would be a competitive game.
At 24-16, Rutgers went on a 22-2 run, making 11 straight field goals in a five-minute stretch as a 46-18 game was 50-22 at the break.
FDU was led by Noah Morgan and Darian Anderson, who had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
”We’ve had a really difficult stretch here. We’ve been playing every game on the road against really good teams. That’s the reality, everyone in our league is doing it. But right now, we are in the gauntlet,” FDU coach Greg Herenda said, adding, ”tonight I think was a culmination of a lot of things, but ultimately it was Rutgers with a really strong performance. They were really really good and you have to give those guys credit.”
Fairleigh Dickinson: The Knights are in the midst of a seven-game road trip in which they are looking for their first road victory of the season. They are currently 0-5 away from the Rothman Center.
Rutgers: Playing five games in 10 days, the Scarlet Knights were playing a game with only one day to prep for the third straight time. The game also marked the second of five straight games against metro area teams. However, outside of No. 19 Seton Hall, none of the teams should pose much of a challenge for Rutgers.
Nadi Beciri was charged with a technical foul with 11:21 left in the game after he appeared to punch Sanders in the face while setting a pick. The FDU forward was charged with a flagrant two foul, which resulted in his ejection.
Fairleigh Dickinson: The Knights have a week off before playing at NJIT.
Rutgers: Hosts Fordham on Tuesday night.