PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Eli Carter rebounded from a poor opening-night effort to come off the bench for 18 points and lead Rutgers over Sacred Heart 88-62 Monday night.
Coming off a surprising loss to Saint Peter's, Rutgers (1-1) got 14 points apiece from Dane Miller and Myles Mack, while Kansas State transfer Wally Judge got his second straight double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Disappointed with the Knights' performance Friday against the Peacocks, coach Mike Rice put three new starters in the lineup to shake things up. After shooting 35.8 percent (19 for 53) against Saint Peter's with 18 turnovers, the Scarlet Knights hit 54.4 percent (37 for 68) and committed just seven turnovers.
The Pioneers took leads of 6-2, 8-4 and 11-6 before Carter's 3-pointer ignited a 17-0 run that gave Rutgers 23-11 lead.
Rutgers opened a 28-13 lead, its largest to that point, with 5:52 left in the half and went on to a 41-21 halftime advantage. The Knights shot 54.8 percent (17-for-31) during the half, making fewer less baskets than they had the entire game against Saint Peter's.
Sacred Heart was coming off an inspired opening-night overtime win against Yale in which the Pioneers rallied from a 24-point halftime deficit. But Sacred Heart got no closer than 16 after intermission and the Knights opened their largest lead at 82-52.
Carter, who was Rutgers' leading scorer last year, shot 2-for-11 against Saint Peter's but came back to go 7-for-15 with three assists. The sophomore guard came off the bench for just the fifth time in his career, as Mack replaced him in the starting lineup. Miller was 6-for-7 with seven rebounds.
Kadeem Jack helped limit Sacred Heart to 36.4 percent shooting (24-for-66) with six blocked shots and two steals.
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