Rutgers imposed its size advantage defensively by holding Penn State to its lowest point total of the season in a 65-45 Tuesday night at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, New Jersey.
After Seth Lundy hit a three-pointer to start the game for Penn State, the team missed its next five shots. Rutgers went on an 8-0 run, led by the two-way play of Clifford Omoruyi. Rutgers consistently made Penn State uncomfortable offensively, and it did such a good job Penn State was missing open looks from the three-point line. Penn State played just fine on defense holding Rutgers to 46 percent in the first half, but Penn State played its arguably worst first half in terms of offensive production of the season as they played more of Rutgers’ style of play for the entirety of the first half as Rutgers was up 32-24 at halftime.
four key stats of the first half were Rutgers outscoring Penn State 22-2 in points in the paint, as well as outrebounding Penn State 22-14. Penn State shot 32.1 percent in the first half, including going 3 for 13 from the three-point line.
To start the second half the teams both started to pick up the pace a little bit more, which favored Penn State and Penn State started to chip away at the deficit as they were only down five at the Under 16 timeout. Penn State however continued to struggle from beyond the arc, as they had an opportunity to tie the game, but they missed three-point shots on one possession after the Under 16 timeout. Penn State continued to miss wide-open shots as Rutgers came up with timely baskets to keep that little bit of distance. As the second half progressed, Penn State trotted its small lineup, but it was not as effective as Rutgers was using size advantage. Rutgers contributed to slowly but surely increase its lead as Aundre Hyatt shot back-to-back threes to stretch its lead to 13. As Penn State continued to miss shots Rutgers imposed its will on Penn State on both ends of the court and they were gassed by the end of the game.
Pickett led Penn State with 15 points, followed by Lundy and Andrew Funk with 12 points each. Omoruyi led all scorers with 16 points for Rutgers, followed by Hyatt with 14 points, and Paul Mulchy contributed with 12 for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers outrebounded Penn State 43-26, Shot 46 percent to Penn State shooting 33 percent, and made as many three-point shots (four), but on half the attempts (26-13)
Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center to host Michigan on Sunday afternoon, while Rutgers will travel to Iowa also on Sunday afternoon.