Rutgers upsets No. 16 Buckeyes, 64-61

By January 9, 2019 (9:35 pm)Basketball, Craig Merz
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Rutgers win its first Big Ten game of the season with a 64-61 win over No. 16 Ohio State at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J., on Wednesday.

Montez Mathis made a pair of baskets for a 62-61 lead with 1:07 left.

After OSU freshman Luther Muhammad from Newark, N.J. missed a shot, Geo Baker grabbed the rebound with 38 seconds left and scored the final two points off a jumper with 13 seconds to go.

The Buckeyes (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten) had a final chance to tie but C.J. Jackson missed a three-pointer from the left corner with two seconds left and Rutgers knocked the rebound away.

Mathis led Rutgers (8-6, 1-3) with 16 points and Baker added 15.

Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson had 16 of his 18 points in the second half for the Buckeyes. Muhammad added 13 points.

OSU shot 40 percent (23 of 58) from the floor while Rutgers was at 42 percent (22 of 53). Rutgers had a wide margin in free throws, making 15 of 20 compared to 7 of 11 for the Buckeyes.

Wesson was saddled with two early fouls and had just two points in the first half but opened the second with 10 straight points to carry the Buckeyes to a 40-38 lead.

Rutgers was unfazed and ran off 10 straight points to make it 48-40 and later increased the lead to 55-45 with nine minutes left.

Muhammad finally gave the Buckeyes the lead, 59-58, with a bank shot with 3:07 left and Jackson followed with a bucket to go up 61-58 with 2:35 to go for a 7-0 stretch, but Mathis took over from there to provide the upset.

The Buckeyes felt fortunate to be down only 31-30 at the half.

Rutgers led by 11, 30-19, after a layup by Shaquille Doorson with 4:54 left but Rutgers went cold. The Scarlet Knights missed their final seven shots and were outscored 11-1 heading into the intermission as they went scoreless the last two minutes.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Duane Washington Jr. and made it 30-27 with 3:23 left. Baker made a free throw for the last of his 13 first-half points to put the lead at four before Andre Wesson made one of two foul shots and Washington drained a jumper with six seconds remaining to pull OSU to within one.

Kaleb Wesson found himself in foul trouble for a second straight game.

In the 86-77 loss to Michigan State on Saturday he was whistled for his second and third fouls five seconds apart with 18:36 early in the second half. Against the Scarlet Knights he went to the bench for about four minutes after getting his second foul in three seconds just 2:54 into the game.

He played a total of seven minutes in the first half and did not pick up another foul.

 

Rutgers top scorer Eugene Omoruyi was injured at 12:58 of the opening stanza when he hurt his left ankle when he went down while battling OSU freshman forward Jaedon LeDee for a rebound.

Omoruyi had to be helped off the court but returned to the bench a few moments later but did not play.

The Buckeyes play Saturday at Iowa.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • THOMAS BROWNFIELD says:

    Rutgers controlled the boards with size and athleticism and their zone defense mixed with man stymied the Buckeye offense. OSU has been exposed as overrated and will get murdered on Saturday at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Oh well, it was hopeful while it lasted.

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