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Rutgers men's basketball bests Bucknell

Senior guard Paul Mulcahy, freshman forward Antwone Woolfolk and the Rutgers men's basketball team breezed by Bucknell. – Photo by @RutgersMBB / Twitter

The Rutgers men’s basketball team routed Bucknell 85-50 on Friday evening. After a tough loss to Seton Hall, the Scarlet Knights (8-4, 1-1) are on a two-game win streak.

Rutgers controlled the game from the tip-off. The Knights led 10-4 by the first media timeout and expanded that lead to 12 points by the second media timeout. Rutgers continued to push the pace throughout the second half and took a 44-26 lead into halftime.

The Knights shot 50 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from the free-throw line in the first half. Rutgers forced the Bison (7-6, 0-0) into eight turnovers and kept Bucknell to 34.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Junior center Clifford Omoruyi helped the Knights dominate inside in the first half, as his efficient 17 points and seven rebounds helped Rutgers score 14 more points inside the paint than the Bison.

The Knights continued to perform well on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball in the second half. Rutgers scored 41 points in the second half to give it 85 total points. This was the Knights' second-highest scoring output this season.

On defense, Rutgers continued to stifle Bucknell, as the Bison committed seven turnovers in the second half and only scored 24 points while shooting 27.6 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from the three-point line.

The Knights only committed three turnovers all game which is a very encouraging sign for their offense. Rutgers dominated inside all game. The Knights scored 48 points in the paint and made 13 of their 19 layups.

Due to the size of Rutgers’ lead, its bench led by junior forward Aundre Hyatt, freshman guard Derek Simpson, and freshman forward Antwone Woolfolk got involved in the game and scored 33 points. The Knights also shared the ball as they had 20 assists.

Omoruyi secured another double-double, scoring 17 points, corralling 14 rebounds, and putting up highlight reel dunks. On the defensive side of the ball, Omoruyi terrorized Bucknell with six blocks.

Fifth-year guard Caleb McConnell also had a strong game, scoring 14 points and shooting 7 of 11 from the field. McConnell added seven assists and three steals. Senior guard Paul Mulcahy stuffed the stat sheet scoring six points, securing seven rebounds, and dishing out five assists.

Rutgers will look to finish its non-conference schedule on a high note when it takes on Coppin State next Friday. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

“Cliff with six blocked shots, which was a career high and our bench (played well),” said head coach Steve Pikiell after the game. “Aundre (Hyatt) came off the bench and Antwone Woolfolk and Derek Simpson were high energy and gave us a lift.  We really shared the ball with 20 team assists and 3 turnovers. We held Bucknell to their season low in shooting percentages and it is just a good sign moving forward."

For more updates on the Rutgers men's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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