Rutgers masters this.
The Crimson Knights, for the second straight season, stunned leaders Purdue.
Rutgers, thanks to a 3-pointer clutch from Cam Spencer in the dying seconds, eliminated No. 1 Purdue 65-64 Monday night in West Lafayette, Indiana. The win followed an incredible half-court win over the Boilermakers in New Jersey last season.
The loss is now Purdue’s first this season, leaving only 21st-ranked New Mexico as the remaining undefeated team in the country. The Boilermakers will undoubtedly fall from the #1 spot next week, a position they have held for nearly a month.
“We know what’s coming. What Rutgers did tonight didn’t shock us,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. via ESPN. “If we’re going to war, we’ll stop at New Jersey and pick them up.”
Rutgers led most of the way Monday night at Mackey Arena, even taking a double-digit lead at halftime. The Boilermakers finally got back into the game under the five-minute mark in the second half off a Brandon Newman 3-pointer clutch – which was their first lead in the game since the opening minutes.
After a bit of back and forth, Purdue freshman Fletcher Lawyer drilled his own three-pointer to give the Boilermakers the lead again with nearly 30 seconds left.
That’s when Spencer fell for it.
Spencer caught a pass at the top of the switch and made a perfect fake shot before hitting the go-ahead run-which proved enough to give the Scarlet Knights a one-point victory.
“He played really well the whole game, and he’s not just a shooter,” Rutgers coach Steve Bickel said of Spencer. via ESPN. “He leads the league in steals and does a lot for us. In the end, he’s like, ‘I do it. ‘” He’s a confident kid.”
Purdue star Zack Eddy finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Newman added 11 points off the bench. Loyer was the only other Boilermakers player to score in double figures in the loss, and the team shot less than 40% from the field.
Paul Mulcahy led the Rutgers team with 16 points and eight rebounds, and quarterback Clifford O’Moroi added 12 points and six rebounds. Spencer finished with 14 points, going 2 of 4 from behind the arc.
Rutgers has now won four in a row as Big Ten play begins. The Scarlet Knights also have a crushing win over Indiana under their belt, and lost a single point to Ohio State nearly a month ago.
“We played three games with the best league in the country,” said Bikel, who notched his 300th career victory Monday night. via ESPN. “We’re good, but it’s a long, long season.”
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