Rutgers men’s basketball sets up defensive clinic in win over Iowa
The Rutgers men’s basketball team beat Iowa 48-46 Wednesday night in a tight, defensive battle. The Scarlet Knights (11-6, 5-2) improve their record to 5-2 in the Big Ten, 11-1 at home and 4-0 at home in conference.
The game was close and low scoring throughout, with the biggest lead of the first half being 5 points. Rutgers shot 33.3% in the first half while the Hawkeyes (13-5, 3-4) shot 29.41%.
By the end of the first half, after a last-second layup for Iowa was taken off the scoreboard, the Hawkeyes were leading 27-24.
Coming out of halftime, Iowa immediately opened up an 8-point lead on the baskets of Jordan Bohannon and Keegan Murray. The Knights responded to that and never fell more than 8 points behind the rest of the way.
During the last 17 minutes of the game, Rutgers would only allow 4 field goals for the rest of the game. This included a streak where the Hawkeyes didn’t score a field goal for nearly 10 minutes of playing time.
Tight defending on both sides led to a one-score game with less than a minute to play. After Patrick McCaffery converted a layup to tie the game with 27 seconds left, the Knights settled for a final shot chance.
senior guard Ron Harper Jr. would be denied a chance to fire the final shot as he was instead fouled by Murray with about 2 seconds left on the clock. Harper then crossed the free throw line and buried 2 free throws to secure the victory for Rutgers.
“We got a good call, you know, I thought he fould me. And just get up there at the foul line with the game on the line, that’s what I came here to do,” Harper said after the game. “My teammates trust me to succeed in the big moments and make those bad shots.”
The Knights held their opponent to several season lows in the win. Iowa entered tonight’s game as the No. 1 scoring team in the Big Ten and were held at a season low in points. It was also the first time the Hawkeyes had been held to less than 50 points since March 2019.
“I just thought these guys wanted us a win, old-fashioned way,” head coach Steve Pikiell said. “From start to finish, I thought we had achievable plans. We just couldn’t find the back of the net on some of those possessions, but we found a way to win.
Harper was the game’s leading scorer with 15 points and five rebounds. second year center Clifford Omoruyi dominated the boards, finishing the contest with a game-high 14 rebounds to go along with 7 points. junior guard Paul Mulcahy led in the assists department with seven on the game.
Rutgers finished the game shooting 31% to Iowa’s 27.9%. The Knights were the winners in the rebound category, holding a 49-38 advantage in the win. Rutgers also racked up 10 blocks, to attach a season high.
Murray finished as the Hawkeyes’ leading scorer and rebounder with 13 points and 13 rebounds. McCaffery joined him in double digits with 11 points. Bohannon, who is from Iowa first three-point shooter, finished with 6 points and was 2-10 from long range.
Waiting for their next opponent authorisation coronavirus disease (COVID-19) protocols, the Knights will hit the road to face Minnesota on Saturday afternoon. The match is scheduled to start at noon and will air on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
“Again, I just found a way to get some really good saves and defensive effort as you will see,” Pikiell said. “The local audience was also great. I can’t say it enough. The audience was great from start to finish. »
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