Sunday’s game between Rutgers and Nebraska was a critical matchup early on in Big Ten play, as both teams were tied in second place in the standings. The Scarlet Knights didn’t play near its best game of the season, but they did what good teams do, winning anyway. Behind balanced scoring and committing just 6 turnovers, the fewest amount they’ve had in a game in four seasons, led to a 69-65 victory over the visiting Cornhuskers at the RAC.
Despite Nebraska (13-3; 3-2) making 12 of 24 attempts from three-point range and holding a +7 rebounding margin, Rutgers held on to win after building a double digit lead midway into the fourth quarter. After the Cornhuskers cut the lead to 59-55 with just over three minutes remaining, KK Sanders came through with a three-pointer and two made free throws on consecutive possessions. It gave just enough cushion to finish the game comfortably enough for the victory. Sanders led Rutgers in scoring with a game high 17 points on 6 of 12 shooting, while dishing out 6 assists and committing just 1 turnover.
Arella Guirantes, the leading scorer in the Big Ten, produced another all-around strong performance, finishing with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. She did struggle shooting wise, making just 6 of 15 from the floor and 4 of 7 from the foul line, but did come through in the clutch, making all four free throw attempts in the last minute plus of the game.
Tekia Mack had a strong game inside, scoring 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting, as well as finishing with 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots. Jordan Wallace added 10 points on 5 of 12 shooting and grabbed 6 rebounds.
The Scarlet Knights are 12-0 this season when at least three players score in double digits.
Rutgers shot 44.4% from the floor while holding Nebraska to 39.7%, despite their big day from behind the arc. The game would not have been nearly as close had RU shot better from the charity stripe, as they were only 9 of 22 for just 40.9%.
The Scarlet Knights did well in other areas, holding a 36-20 advantage with points in the paint and holding a +11 turnover margin, which resulted in an 21-11 edge in points off of turnovers. RU is now 14-1 when outscoring opponents both in points in the paint and points off of turnovers.
With Rutgers now 14-2 overall and tied for first place in the Big Ten with a record of 4-1 after winning three straight in conference play. They next face Penn State (7-9; 1-4) on the road on Thursday night.