Rutgers raced to a 14-4 lead, dominated the backboards and went on to score a 75-62 victory over visiting American University tonight in the opener for both schools before 5,000.
Ed Slone's free throw with 57 seconds left brought American within 69-62, but the Scarlet Knights scored the game's final six points, four by Kelvin Troy, to clinch the victory.
American's high-scoring all-America, Boo Bowers, finished with a game-high 22 points, 16 in the second half. Bowers, who was guarded by the tenacious Troy, sat out six minutes early in the second half with four fouls.
The Scarlet Knights, with 6-9 center Roy Hinson and forward Troy, dominated inside.
American will return home to play Maryland University Tuesday night at Cole Field House.
American was able to stay in the game on the shooting of Bowers, guard Ed Slone (17 points) and forward Mark Nickens (14). It was Slone's career high and it was Texas Christian transfer Nicken's first game as an Eagle. He is a sophomore.
Rutgers took a 39-30 halftime lead and extended that advantage to 17 points in the second half and AU never came closer than seven points.