Rutgers Scarlet Knight’s News: Men’s Basketball Hosts Ohio State Today at 2:15 PM




PISCATAWAY, N.J. – A surging Rutgers men’s basketball team is back home this weekend. Rising to No. 17 in the NCAA’s NET rankings, the Scarlet Knights return to Jersey Mike’s Arena on Sunday fresh off another thrilling road win. After a Wednesday late-night late close out of Northwestern, RU is 6-1 in their last seven games entering Sunday’s meeting at 2:15 p.m.

The game will be broadcast nationwide on Big Ten Network and will be on the radio dial on WCBS 880 AM. Tip-off is set for 2:15 p.m., which was set this Monday to precede the 4:30 p.m. kickoff of the Giants-Vikings NFL playoff game.

The contest marks the 16th lifetime meeting between these two programs, with 15 of those coming since 2015, Rutgers’ first year in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights are 4-11 against the Buckeyes. In the last meeting earlier this season, Rutgers lost a heartbreaker as OSU made a three-pointer as time expired to claim a one-point victory.

In the last meeting at Jersey Mike’s Arena, RU defeated then-No. 16 Ohio State, 66-64, overcoming an eight-point lead with under four minutes to go to capture a win, highlighted by a chase-down block from Caleb McConnell to swing the momentum.

OSU is the first team that RU will play a second time this year.

A victory over Ohio State would represent:
– A 7-1 mark in the past eight games
– A 5-2 conference record for the second straight year.
– Two straight home wins over the Buckeyes.

Rutgers comes into the contest having won six of its past seven games after a road win at Northwestern. On the year, RU is 12-5 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten. Cam Spencer’s three-point shooting has been a huge catalyst in the recent success. In six conference games, Spencer is shooting 57.1 percent from long-range (16-of-28). That leads the league, far ahead of second place (PSU’s Andrew Funk at 44.4%). Spencer is 19-of-30 (.633) on three-pointers in his last five games and 59.5% (22-of-37) over the past seven games as RU has gone 6-1.

Paul Mulcahy enters the game with 364 assists, eighth all-time at RU. He needs three assists to tie Mike Coburn for seventh and seven assists to tie Anthony Farmer for sixth. Caleb McConnell enters the game with 178 steals, tied with James Bailey for fifth all-time at RU. He can tie Geo Baker for fourth with two more steals.

OSU, ranked for multiple weeks this year, enters on a three-game losing streak after a home loss to Minnesota on Thursday. The Buckeyes are led by projected First Round NBA Draft pick Brice Sensebaugh at 16.8 points per game, a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week. He is followed by Justice Sueing at 14.1. Zed Key leads the team on the boards at 7.8 rpg. As a team, OSU is second in the Big Ten in three-point percentage (38.7%) and three-point defense (29.4%), while coming in third in scoring offense at 78.9 points per game.

The Scarlet Knights were led by Cam Spencer’s season-high 23 points in a road win over Northwestern. Spencer also hit a clutch late three-pointer and iced the game with two free throws for a 65-62 win. Rutgers’ 11 three-pointers tied its most ever in a Big Ten game, while Spencer’s six three-pointers were the second most ever by a RU individual in a Big Ten game. Rutgers’ 61.1 percent from three-point range was a season-high and was the best three-point percentage in a game for RU since making 62.5% versus Wisconsin (5-of-8) on Jan. 5, 2018. The win gave RU a 6-5 record in its past 11 true road games in Big Ten play, and a 4-2 start to league play.