Rutgers Men’s Basketball

Rutgers Men’s Basketball

Rutgers Men’s Basketball

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights traveled to the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin to play the Wisconsin Badgers in Big Ten Basketball Saturday, February 18, 2023. Photo Steve Apps

RUTGERS 58 – WISCONSIN 57

Every point matters. That was definitely the case Saturday afternoon as the Scarlett Knights outlasted the Wisconsin Badgers 58-57 for a huge victory in the Big Ten as the season hits its stretch drive.

The wild turn of events all took place in the final minute when Derek Simpson’s layup bounced off the rim before Aundre Hyatt snuck underneath for the put-back finish to give Rutgers a 58-57 lead with 1:08 to play.

With the seconds ticking away, Wisconsin got one last shot to win it when Connor Essegian took a jump shot at the hoop only to have it swatted away by Clifford Omoruyi. On the kick-out, Essegian got one last shot — this time from down town, but his shot fell short of the hoop as Rutgers held on.

“They have a lot of weapons,” Head Coach Steve Pikiell said. “So it starts with their post guys who do a really good job trying to limit their touches, quite honestly. Connor Essegian is having a great season playing at a high level. He’s an elite shooter obviously just wanted to make sure you didn’t get any clean looks as best as you can.

“It is hard to do because they got a lot of other good players too. We were fortunate to do that today but their post guys are what you know always concern you and they always have three point shooters so if it’s not him other guys stepped up and McGee was great and he picked up the pace and help them but they have a lot of weapons from three point land when we were trying to make it difficult for them.”

Cam Spencer led the way with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Omoruyi had 12 points and eight boards, while Hyatt had eight points and nine boards in the victory.

Rutgers held Wisconsin to just 33 percent from the field, while RU shot a solid 44 percent from the field and had 26 points in the paint.

Rutgers (17-10) will host Michigan at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Thursday night.

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