Rutgers avoids huge collapse, takes down Georgetown

Aundre Hyatt scored 12 points and keyed a second-half flurry, helping propel Rutgers to a 71-60 win over Georgetown in the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Wednesday in Piscataway, N.J.

Derek Simpson supplied 15 points and Noah Fernandes added 10 points as balanced Rutgers (3-1) won its third straight.

Reserves Gavin Griffiths and Jamichael Davis sparked the Scarlet Knights, scoring 12 and nine points, respectively. The Rutgers bench outscored Georgetown’s 21-6.

Rutgers built a lead of as much as 13 with seven minutes to go in the first half before Georgetown trimmed it to one with a minute to go. But a 21-6 Rutgers run that bridged halves put the game away for the Scarlet Knights.

Illinois transfer Jayden Epps shook off an ankle injury that sent him to the locker room for several minutes to lead Georgetown (1-2) with 16 points.

North Carolina transfer Dontrez Styles matched his career high with 15 points, all in the first half, and added seven rebounds for the Hoyas, who won the battle of the boards 40-29.

Rutgers played stellar defense throughout, limiting Georgetown to 35.3-percent shooting from the floor and 28 percent 7 of 25 from beyond the arc. Rutgers also forced the Hoyas into 21 turnovers.

Rutgers started fast as Clifford Omoruyi made two dunks in the first 13 seconds. Omoruyi finished with eight points, six rebounds and four blocks.

The Scarlet Knights surged later in the half when Griffiths and Davis entered and accounted for six straight Rutgers field goals to turn Rutgers’ 10-8 lead into a 27-17 margin. Griffth made two 3-pointers and Davis added a trey.

Hyatt then hit a 3-pointer to make it a 30-17 lead with 7:48 left before the half.

But Styles responded with a trio of 3-pointers in a span of less than four minutes as the Hoyas cut the deficit to 33-32.

In the final minute of the half, Simpson buried a 3-pointer and Griffiths hustled down floor for a fast-break slam as the Scarlet Knights held a 38-32 lead at the break.

Rutgers opened the second half with a spurt, hitting 6 of 7 shots, including two 3-pointers each by Hyatt and Fernandes. The spree gave the Scarlet Knights a 54-36 lead with 16 minutes left.