Pikiell gets first win at Rutgers, 86-57 over D-II Molloy

Rutgers forward Candido Sa, of Portugal, makes a basket during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Molloy on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, in Piscataway, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Mel Evans/AP

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Mike Williams scored 17 points as Rutgers beat Division II Molloy 86-57 on Saturday night to give Steve Pikiell his first win as Scarlet Knights head coach.

It was the largest margin of victory for a head coach in their Rutgers debut.

Pikiell took over for Eddie Jordan after 11 seasons at Stony Brook. He guided the Seawolves to the NCAA Tournament last season.

Deshawn Freeman had his first career double-double scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds with three blocked shots for the Scarlet Knights (1-0). Transfers Nigel Johnson (Kansas State) scored 14 and C.J. Gettys (UNC-Wilmington) added 11 points and six rebounds in the Rutgers debuts.

Charlie Marquardt had 19 points for Molloy (0-1), while Jaylen Morris added 13.

Rutgers took a 9-0 lead that it never relinquished. Molloy got within five early in the second half and trailed 52-46 before the Scarlet Knights scored 18 straight to break it open.


Molloy: Despite the loss, playing tough against a Big Ten opponent was a positive experience for a young team that includes five freshmen and just two holdover seniors.

Rutgers: The return of Freeman is a huge boost to the Knights. After transferring from junior college, Freeman injured his knee – and was granted a medical redshirt – while averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in seven games last season.


Molloy: The Lions will see how well conditioned they are as they play the College of St. Rose on Saturday and face LeMoyne Sunday in the College of Saint Rose Tipoff Classic.

Rutgers: After a day off, Rutgers hosts Drexel Sunday afternoon as Pikiell attempts to become the first coach to start 2-0 in his first season at Rutgers since Bob Wenzel in 1988.