Basketball   |   February 8, 2023

Rutgers Defeats No. 10 Indiana for the Sixth Consecutive Game, 63-48

Rutgers outplayed Indiana from the start on Saturday afternoon in Piscataway. Rutgers fans were not shy about letting the position 10 Indiana know how they felt about the Hoosiers’ ranking during the game’s final minutes.

The Hoosiers’ performance was lackluster. They will inevitably stumble. Rutgers, who had just lost on the road against Miami, pulled off a huge upset with this victory. At home, they have an undefeated record of 6-0.

Since taking over a troubled Rutgers program in 2016/17, coach Steve Pikiell has won 14 games against ranked opponents. The defense played a significant role, as it usually does, in this win.

Rutgers 63, Indiana 48 Team News, Returns and Missings

Paul Mulcahy, a senior starting guard for Rutgers, returned to action after missing four games due to a shoulder injury. Early in the first half, he came off the bench and played over 24 minutes, scoring six points and dishing out four assists.

Due to a back injury, Indiana’s starting guard Jalen Hood-Schifino did not feature. He had an average of 8.7 points. Race Thompson, a starting forward who averaged 7.3 points per game, shot 0 for 4 and failed to score.

Rutgers 63, Indiana 48 Highlights

The Hoosiers scored a season-low number of points. They averaged 87.1 points per game and came off a victory against North Carolina. Indiana performed poorly in the first half and fell by a score of 31-24. Xavier Johnson and Kopp’s buckets helped the Hoosiers open the final quarter with a 13-4 run to take a two-point lead.

Rutgers took the lead for good with a 3-pointer from McConnell. Then Simpson took control with a layup, a jumper, a 3-pointer, and a huge scoop shot for a 47-37 advantage. The final point of his run was scored after Johnson struck him in the face in the offensive zone, resulting in a flagrant foul. He shot one of two free throws.

Cliff Omoruyi was forced to leave the game early due to foul trouble. However, the Scarlet Knights still controlled the boards against the Hoosiers. Rutgers pulled down 14 offensive rebounds in the first half and tallied 14 second-chance points. 

Indiana could have trailed by much more than seven points at halftime if not for Miller Kopp’s stellar shooting performance (5 – for – 7). The first half ended with the Hoosiers scoring just .74 points per possession on 8 – for – 28 shooting from the field and 5 – for – 10 from the free throw line.

However, the Hoosiers fought back in the second half. At the 15:05 mark, a 7-0 run featuring consecutive 3-pointers from Kopp and Xavier Johnson tied it up, forcing a Rutgers timeout. 

The Hoosiers held a slim 37-35 lead before the under – 12 timeout. However, Rutgers scored five straight to take the lead, 40-37. Freshman Derek Simpson scored five more points after the timeout to extend the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 45 – 37 with 10:04 remaining. 

At the 9:03 mark, Simpson made a layup to give his team a 10-point lead, and a layup by Mawot Mag at the 8:21 mark gave them a 15-0 lead. Indiana never came nearer than nine the rest of the play.

Indiana’s first campaign loss drops the Hoosiers’ record to 7-1 before Wednesday’s home match against Nebraska.

Who Was the Standout Performer and the Statistics That Stood Out

Kopp was Indiana’s only consistent offensive performer, scoring a game-high 21 points. The lad was also 8-for-12 from the field inside 35 minutes. 

Miller Kopp tallied 5-of-9 while the rest 1-of-16. Indiana struggled to handle Rutger’s pressure, turning the ball over 14 times only to nine assists.

In the defeat, Indiana tallied 48 points, a season-low, and averaged just .72 points per possession.

When playing against Indiana, Rutgers has won six consecutive games and eight of the previous nine encounters between the two sides. Here are some more stats that stood out for the Scarlet Knights:

  • The Scarlet Knights hold an 8-7 series advantage.
  • The Scarlet Knights outworked Indiana and controlled the offensive glass. 
  • Rutgers established the tone of the game early with 13 offensive rebounds in the first 13 minutes. 
  • The Scarlet Knights accumulated 17 offensive rebounds and scored 17 points off second chances. 
  • Rutgers outrebounded Indiana 47-33 overall. 
  • Rutgers was more aggressive and better prepared for a physical game. 

What’s Next

On Wednesday, Indiana will host Nebraska in the Conference home opener. Rutgers will travel to number 25 Ohio State on Thursday.