Young teams usually take some time to learn to win on the road and are susceptible to early-season lapses away from home.
The Rutgers men’s basketball team, which has long been criticized for a lack of success away from the RAC, may not need the adjustment period this year.
Junior center Hamady Ndiaye poured in a career-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds as the Scarlet Knights (2-0) pulled out an 85-77 win at Delaware on Sunday.
Rutgers shot 60.4 percent (29-of-48) from the floor on the day, out-rebounded the Fightin’ Blue Hens 42-26 and made 23-of-33 free throws.
The Scarlet Knights put four players in double figures, as freshman guard Mike Rosario, freshman forward Gregory Echenique and sophomore guard Corey Chandler had 17, 10 and 13 respectively.
Delaware (0-1) started the game on fire, hitting on all cylinders from beyond the arc (finished 9-of-27 from deep). The squad was led by Alphonso Dawson’s 28 points and Georgetown transfer Marc Egerson’s 28 points and 12 rebounds.
RU led 45-39 at the break after trailing 27-16 with 11:51 left in the first half, but needed clutch free throw shooting late by Rosario and senior Anthony Farmer to ice the win. The Scarlet Knights have won 17 of their last 19 over Delaware.
Rutgers’ next contest is another Garden State Challenge tilt, as the team hosts Robert Morris on Friday night at 8 p.m.