Rutgers beats North Texas for first 5-0 start since 2000-01
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Deshawn Freeman had 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as Rutgers defeated North Texas 66-53 in the Scarlet Knight Showcase on Wednesday night.
Nigel Johnson and Mike Williams had 10 points each for the Scarlet Knights, who are 5-0 for the first time since 2000-01. It was Freeman's third double-double of the season.
Shane Temara had a career-high 16 points for the Mean Green (1-3), who lost their third straight. Deckie Johnson added 13 points. North Texas played without second-leading scorer Jeremy Combs, who was resting a sore ankle.
Trailing 25-24, Rutgers scored seven straight to start the second half and take the lead for good. Leading 43-40, the Scarlet Knights put it away with an 18-2 run to go up 61-42 with 2:52 remaining.
The 66 points tied a season-low for Rutgers and the 53 were the least it allowed this season.
North Texas: The Mean Green allowed a season-low in points by holding Rutgers to 36.5 percent shooting (23 of 63), but only shot 33.3 percent (19 of 57) and were outrebounded 53-38.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have not defeated a team with a winning record yet, but their best start in 16 years earned them one vote in the AP poll. Rutgers has not been ranked since it finished No. 18 in the final poll of 1978-79. Rutgers entered the game among the national leaders in offensive rebounding (fifth, 18.25) rebounding margin (seventh, 18.5), and total rebounds (ninth, 48.5).
North Texas: The Mean Green hosts Niagara on Friday to kick off a five-game homestand. North Texas plays nine of its first 12 games at home.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights host Hartford Friday, and will attempt to go 6-0 for the first time since 1975-76, when the school's lone Final Four team won its first 31 games.