Thursday, September 28

Rutgers basketball beats Wisconsin, NCAA Tournament hopes alive

Rutgers has emphasized that it’s learned from its struggles over the course of the season, that some of the surprising losses it suffered provided some of its most valuable lessons. 

Perhaps the biggest — winning in the Big Ten at home or on the road requires a complete, 40-minute performance. Slow starts can be costly. 

The Scarlet Knights showed just how far they’ve come on Saturday. 

Steve Pikiell’s team got off to a quick start on the way to a strong, all-around performance to beat No. 14 Wisconsin, 73-65, at Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. 

For the first time in program history, Rutgers has beaten a ranked opponent in three consecutive games as it continues to improve its NCAA Tournament resume. 

Ron Harper Jr. finished with a team-high 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting (3-of-6 from the perimeter) with six rebounds and two assists. 

Paul Mulcahy finished with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Cliff Omoruyi had 10 points and eight rebounds. 

Feb 12, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Johnny Davis (1) looks to pass as Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Caleb McConnell (22) and teammates defend during the first half at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers shot 51 percent from the field and went 7-of-12 from the perimeter. 

Tyler Wahl led the Badgers with 23 points, but the Scarlet Knights shut down Wisconsin’s leading scorers. 

Badgers sophomore guard Johnny Davis finished with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting and was 0-of-3 from the perimeter. Senior guard Brad Davison, one of the top shooters in the Big Ten, had 13 points on 3-of-13 shooting, 1-of-9 from the perimeter. 

Wisconsin was just 4-of-19 from the three-point line. 

Rutgers held a nine-point lead at one point in the first half, but Wisconsin reeled off a 13-3 run to briefly take the lead. The Badgers struggled from the free-throw line before halftime, going just 7-of-15. The Scarlet Knights ultimately went into the break up 38-35 with Baker and Harper combining for 27 points. 

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