The Scarlet Knights are rolling now. For the second-straight game, Rutgers overpowered its opponent, this time against the Illinois Fighting Illini for their 20th win of the season. The 80-56 victory keeps RU alone in third-place in the Big Ten standings.
The Illini started the game even with Rutgers, keeping pace five minutes into the first half. The Knights eventually pulled away with a 16-5 run to go up 27-16 with just over seven minutes to go until halftime. RU would go into the intermission with a 36-28 lead.
Stringer did not let up once the second half started, as Rutgers jumped out to a significant lead on the heels of an 18-8 run. RU had a 20-point lead for the remainder of the game, leading by as many as 26 points near the seven minute mark in the second. Four Scarlet Knights scored in double-figures, led by Tyler Scaife's 21 points on 9-16 shooting. Kahleah Copper added in 16 points, while Betnijah Laney scored 14 and grabbed five rebounds.
Despite Illinois' solid play defending the three, Rutgers went a respectable 3-7 from beyond the arc, including two treys from Cynthia Hernandez. Scaife hit the other three-pointer.
This win marks the 2014-2015 squad as the sixth fastest Rutgers team to make it to 20 wins (15th 20-win season under C. Vivian Stringer).
Up next: Rutgers heads west to visit Michigan State (12-14, 4-11) at the Breslin Center, where the Spartans have went 9-6 so far this season.