Rutgers collects dominant 94-38 season-opening win over CCNY
The Knights tie their widest ever margin of victory, a record lasting 81 years
The Rutgers men's basketball team just tied for the most lopsided win in program history, and no one will bat an eye.
Some will say it was expected, opening the season against a Division III school like City College of New York (CCNY). After all, the Beavers have this game listed as an exhibition of their schedule — they weren't expecting much either.
But as the cliche goes, a win is a win, and the Scarlet Knights (1-0) will take that with them, as they defeated CCNY (0-1) by a score of 94-38 in the first game of the season.
It is tied for the widest margin of victory for Rutgers since a 91-35 mauling against Trenton State, when it was still called that, in 1936.
Eighty-one years later, the Knights do it on the backs of a a literal team effort — 12 individual scorers came through for Rutgers, with sophomore forward Issa Thiam leading the way with 19 points, along with 11 rebounds.
His strong performance comes just five days after scoring the game-winning putback in a charity exhibition game against St. John's, a major boost of confidence heading into the first game.
Thiam's impressive play was only helped on by the others in the starting five, with junior guard Corey Sanders, senior forward Deshawn Freeman and sophomore Geo Baker each boasting double-digit scoring lines.
Though not the 28 points he put up against St. John's last weekend, Freeman was perfect from the field, going 7-7 for 16 points.
On the other hand, there was noticeable improvement from Baker from the St. John's matchup to Friday, as the freshman from New Hampshire found his shot, going 5-9 for 10 points with three rebounds.
Baker, alongside sophomore forward Eugene Omoruyi, paced the side with four assists, once again sharing point duties with Sanders.
Putting up 94 points on the day, Rutgers' dominance didn't stop at its offensive production — the team showed up plenty on the boards, collecting 60 rebounds to CCNY's 20.
CCNY remains one of many lower-tier schools the Knights will come up against in the early season before it battles Florida State at the end of the month and moves into Big Ten play.
Victories like these are a dime a dozen in the opening few games — Rutgers is no stranger to that, starting last year 11-1 before finishing at 15-18.
From there, the flaws are easy to identify. The Knights shot 11 percent from beyond the arc and 50 percent from the charity stripe, obvious points of improvement going forward.
Still, a 56-point win is a source of pride for a team like Rutgers gradually finding an identity in the Big Ten. Its schedule already in place, all the Knights can hope to do in games like these is to do exactly what they did against CCNY.