By David Porter
The Associated Press
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – At one point during the second half of K-State’s win over Rutgers Wednesday night, the public-address announcer began to signal a timeout with the words, “Cincinnati calls time,” before catching himself and correcting it to “K-State.”
It might take awhile to get used to Bob Huggins coaching the Wildcats after 16 seasons at Cincinnati. It won’t take nearly as long to recognize his trademark high-pressure defense.
David Hoskins scored 14 points to help K-State defeat Rutgers 55-41 Wednesday night and spoil the debut of Scarlet Knights coach Fred Hill. The Wildcats shot 32 percent from the field but were able to win easily because they held Rutgers to 19-percent shooting (9-for-47).
“That was a score from before the shot clock,” Huggins cracked after his team improved to 2-0. “I try to tell them they’re going to have days when they don’t shoot well, but they can still win, and you do that by guarding and by rebounding the ball.”
J.R. Inman led Rutgers with 17 points. The game was Rutgers’ season opener, but it evened Hill’s career record at 1-1. Last season, the longtime assistant coached the Scarlet Knights to a victory over Marquette when head coach Gary Waters was unable to return from Ohio due to a snowstorm.
Without shooting guard Quincy Douby, who left a year early for the NBA, Rutgers’ lack of an outside game was glaring. Outside of Inman, the Scarlet Knights shot 4-for-39, including 1-for-10 by returning leading scorer Marquis Webb.
“Last year Quincy was double-teamed, and that opened up looks for other guys,” Hill said. “They’re not going to get those looks any more. They’re going to have to find ways to score in the offense.”
Whether due to K-State’s defensive pressure or their own ineptitude, Rutgers’ players never seemed to get into the flow of the game.
“I think we got them moving a little faster than they wanted to move and made them make decisions they didn’t want to make,” Hoskins said. “The ball either goes in or it doesn’t, but you can always play defense and rebound.”
Rutgers overcame a brutal first 20 minutes in which it shot 4-for-24 to trail by nine on Inman’s 3-point play early in the second half. But Lance Harris scored eight of his 11 points on two 3-pointers and a baseline jumper to spark a 12-6 run that opened a 40-25 lead for K- State. The lead eventually reached 19 (47-28) with 8:48 left.
Inman landed awkwardly and left the game with a left leg injury with 10:26 left but returned with 4:44 left. He was the only Rutgers player to make more than one field goal.