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Rutgers rallies for 59-56 win over Northwestern

Posted at 9:36 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 21:36:52-05

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Geo Baker and Montez Mathis each had 12 points, Eugene Omoruyi added 11 and Rutgers rallied in the second half for a 59-56 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.

Baker also had five rebounds and five assists as Rutgers (12-12, 5-9 in the Big Ten) snapped a three-game losing streak.

Northwestern (12-12, 3-10) has dropped five straight. Vic Law had 17 points and A.J. Turner added 11 to lead the Wildcats.

The Scarlet Knight managed their second conference road win of the season despite shooting just 8 for 15 from the free-throw line and 3 for 16 on 3-pointers. Rutgers did shoot 48 percent from the field in the second half following a slow start.

Neither team could get much going offensively in the first half, especially from distance. Rutgers was 1 for 10 behind the 3-point arc, while Northwestern went 1 for 8. Overall, both teams shot below 35 percent in the first half, resulting in a tie at 22 at halftime.

The Scarlet Knights picked up their pace offensively early in the second half. Ron Harper Jr. converted a 3-point play with 11 minutes left to give Rutgers a 42-40 edge. Leading 42-41, Rutgers ran off seven straight points for a 49-41 advantage with six minutes to play. Omoruyi had five points during the run, including a 3-pointer to cap it.

Meanwhile, Northwestern's offensive struggles continued. The Wildcats managed just one point in a 5½-minute stretch and went nearly 6½ minutes without a field goal as Rutgers stretched its lead.

The Scarlet Knights had a chance to put the game away, but couldn't score consistently enough down the stretch to do so.

Law's 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining trimmed the deficit to 55-53.

Myles Johnson answered at the other end down low and was foul by Dererk Pardon with 37.7 seconds left. Johnson, though, missed the free throw — Rutgers' seventh free-throw miss to that point — to make it 57-53.

Law hit another 3-pointer with 18.2 seconds to make it a one-point game. Northwestern then got the ball back on a five-second call as Rutgers tried to inbound the ball following a timeout.

Law worked into the lane for a potential game-winner, but his eight-footer in traffic with 13 seconds to go hit off the front rim and the Scarlet Knights came up with the loose ball.

Omoruyi was fouled with 9.2 seconds and hit both free throws for a three-point lead. Law's 30-foot attempt at the buzzer missed badly.

BIG PICTURE

Rutgers: The young Scarlet Knights seemingly are improving every game and no longer are Big Ten bottom dwellers.

Northwestern: Despite his final numbers, Law had another rough shooting night, going 6 for 16 from the field. The Wildcats struggle when he doesn't score consistently.

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UP NEXT

Rutgers: Host No. 21 Iowa Saturday night.

Northwestern: At Nebraska Saturday night.

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