PISCATAWAY, New Jersey — Kethan Savage had 18 points and 11 rebounds and George Washington led from start to finish in a 70-53 win over Rutgers Sunday night.
Joe McDonald had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Colonials (2-0), while Patricio Garino added 10 points.
Rutgers (0-1) opened the season without its top big man Kadeem Jack, who had a sprained thumb, but got 14 points from Myles Mack and 10 from Mike Williams.
GW scored the game's first six points and never let Rutgers pull even. The Scarlet Knights got within 11-9 before the Colonials' 20-9 run opened the biggest lead of the half. GW led 33-21 at the break after holding Rutgers to 6-for-29 shooting (20.7 percent).
The Colonials expanded to their biggest advantage at 66-44 with 2:56 remaining. The closest Rutgers got in the second half was 43-33 before GW scored seven straight to break it open.
George Washington struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 33.3 percent (11 for 33), but the Colonials picked it up at 52 percent (13 for 25) after intermission by clearing out the lane and getting more penetration baskets.
With Jack out of the lineup, GW held a 45-37 rebounding advantage and outscored Rutgers in the paint 34-28 although the Colonials did not get many good inside looks during the first half as the Knights played hard-nosed interior defense and finished with nine blocked shots.
Rutgers could never got its offense going, shooting 19 for 54 (35.2 percent) and 4 of 18 on 3-pointers. The Knights committed 16 turnovers.
Rutgers: Jack, who sprained his thumb during practice at the end of October, returned to practice on Thursday and had hoped to play up until two hours before game time. He was scratched when the thumb didn't respond in a positive way. The NBA prospect averaged 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds last year.
George Washington: The Colonials' 33 points at halftime were just one more than their 32-point halftime advantage against Grambling State on opening night, when they led 47-15 at the break. George Washington won for just the fifth times in 21 games at Rutgers. After going mostly seven-deep last year, the Colonials played 11 players for the second straight game.
Rutgers hosts Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday.
George Washington visits Virginia on Friday.