Baker, Thiam lead Rutgers past Cleveland State, 70-38


After eking out a four-point victory against Central Connecticut State Sunday, Rutgers did what a Big Ten team is supposed to do against inferior opponents on Tuesday.

Geo Baker had 14 points and seven assists and Issa Thiam scored 14 points, was 4-of-8 from behind the three-point line and knocked down treys on three-straight possessions to lead Rutgers past Cleveland State, 70-38 on Tuesday night.

“We didn’t play Rutgers basketball at all last game,” Corey Sanders said. “We started off slow and kind of took forever to pick it up and we never got it going like we usually do.”

That wasn’t the case against Cleveland State.

“Loved Issa. He’s gotten better,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. “I loved the fact (that he had) seven rebounds.He’s been better. He’s been better all year. He’s been better in practice.Really pleased with his progress.”

Rutgers took a nine-point lead into halftime before jumping out to a 20-point lead early in the second half after back-to-back 3s by Thiam to make it 43-23 with 14:41 left. Thiam went on to hit another three on the third straight possession to make it 46-26.

From there, Rutgers cruised.

Cleveland State was led by Stefan Kenic with 12 points, while Kenny Carpenter added 11.



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