PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Ron Harper Jr. and Montez Mathis each scored 13 points and had six rebounds in a balanced scoring attack to lead Rutgers past Bryant 73-71 in a season opener on Thursday night.
Adam Grant missed a three-pointer from the right wing in the final seconds as Bryant nearly upset a Big Ten opponent for the first time.
Rutgers’ lead ballooned to as many as 16 on a Paul Mulcahy three-pointer with 14:41 left in the second half. Bryant cut the lead to 67-62 after a barrage of three-pointers, capped off by Patrick Harding with 2:58 remaining, then closed to 73-71 after a three-pointer by Charles Pride with 48.2 seconds left.
Rutgers traded leads with Bryant throughout the first ten minutes of the first half before Shaq Carter gave the Scarlet Knights a 13-12 lead with 11:17 left. They never looked back, taking a 38-30 lead into the break.
Bryant was led by Grant with 23 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Charles Pride had 20 points and seven rebounds.
Rutgers: Under the direction of fourth-year coach Steve Pikiell and returning six of seven of its top scorers, the Scarlet Knights are entering a season with the most optimism that they’ve had in a long time. The hope is to make the postseason, which they haven’t done since their 2006 NIT appearance. They haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1991.
Did You See This CB Softwares?
37 SOFTWARE TOOLS... FOR $27!?Join Affiliate Bots Right Away
Bryant: Picked sixth out of 11 teams in the Northeast Conference preseason poll, the Bulldogs will be led by senior guard Adam Grant, who was named to the NEC preseason all-conference team.
Rutgers had a porous night from beyond the arc, going 9 of 32. That’s worse than last year’s season average, which was just 31.2 percent.
Rutgers: Hosts Niagara on Sunday.
Bryant: Hosts Cornell on Sunday.