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Rutgers makes mistakes but holds off Stephen F. Austin


Caleb McConnell had 16 points and Akwasi Yeboah had 12 of his 13 points in the second half as Rutgers held off visiting Stephen F. Austin 69-57 on Wednesday in Piscataway, N.J.

The Scarlet Knights (4-1) won despite committing 19 turnovers and missing 11 of 28 free throws, going 16 of 25 from the line in the second half.

Rutgers led 31-26 at halftime, an edge that had been nine in the final minute before McConnell was hit with a technical for arguing about a no-call. That allowed SFA (4-1) to make two foul shots and hit a layup at the buzzer to trail by only five.

The Lumberjacks got within 38-34 with 14:57 left but Rutgers responded with a 12-0 run in which it forced six turnovers. During that stretch, SFA was called for failing to get the ball over the midcourt line in 10 seconds coming out of a timeout and also had a five-second violation.

SFA went 5:43 without scoring, missing six shots including three on one possession, before senior guard John Comeaux hit a layup with 9:14 to go. Comeaux had 14 points for the Lumberjacks on 5-for-6 shooting.

The Lumberjacks cut the deficit to 57-49 with 4:14 to go during a scoring spurt in which they hit a pair of 3s after missing their first eight. SFA, which entered the game shooting 37.7 percent from outside, was 2 of 13 from 3-point range and shot 39.2 percent overall while turning it over 19 times.

SFA got as close as seven with 1:37 left after senior guard Kevon Harris scored six of his team-high 18 points in a 52-second span. But Rutgers iced the win by making 7 of 8 foul shots in the final 1:19.

The game was part of the Garden State Showcase, a five-team round-robin tournament. Rutgers finished 4-0 in the event while SFA went 3-1.

--Field Level Media

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