Image Credit: Rutgers Athletics
Rutgers, holding onto NCAA Tournament hopes for dear life, captured what could possibly be an All-Time Top 5 win at home against #9 Maryland 78-67.
The Knights grabbed the lead with 15:39 left in the first half, thanks to a Jacob Young three-pointer. It would be a lead they woudn’t relinquish. They extended the lead to 11, in large part via free throws. A deep three by Geo Baker capped off the first half. Jacob Young couldn’t miss from beyond the arc all night and finished 3/3 beyond the arc in the first half. The end of the half would see Rutgers with a 35-29 lead.
Early in the second half, Akwasi Yeboah fought for a rebound, then glided down the floor to drain his only three pointer of the game. This put Rutgers up by double digits with 18:31 left. Rutgers would stretch the lead to 23 with the contributions from Myles Johnson, Geo Baker, Ron Harper Jr, and Montez Mathis. Jacob Young would close out his career night when he threw down a thunderous dunk with 28 seconds left. The Terps went home with their seventh loss of the season and sixth in conference play. Maryland looked to make a push late, but couldn’t overcome the Rutgers lead.
Benches Win Championships
Geo Baker finished with 11 points, 4 assists and was perfect from the stripe. Montez Mathis poured in 15 with a stellar performance inside the arc. Ron Harper, Jr. was also solid with 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 assist. Rutgers scored 30 bench points. Jacob Young was key here, scoring 17 on 70% shooting.
Rutgers (19-11) is now looking for a “Big” run in the conference tournament to secure a spot in the field of 68. The Scarlet Knights came into this game on the bubble according to ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi. They had also fallen out of the tournament in Jerry Palms Bracketology completely. Bold Jerry, very bold.
Maryland looks to break their two game skid and clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title with a win in their next game Sunday vs #25 Michigan. Your Scarlet Knights finish out the season looking for their 20th win Saturday at Purdue.