No questions about the officiating this afternoon.
It was just one team being more physical than the other on Saturday when Ohio State completed the season-sweep of No. 15 Rutgers with a 79-68 victory at the RAC in Piscataway.
The Scarlet Knights have spent many years as a doormat in the Big Ten before being nationally ranked as high as No. 11 this season. They are looking like the team of old in recent years losing four of their last five games, three of which came by double-digits.
This was a game of runs in the first half. Rutgers took a 26-20 lead with 7:48 left after a 13-2 run capped by a Caleb McConnell three-point shot. The Buckeyes responded with a 13-0 run over the next four and a half minutes to gain control of the game. Rutgers entered the locker room trailing 42-30.
Rutgers finished just 44% from the field and 5-20 from three-point range. Jacob Young was the lone Scarlet Knight who could get anything going offensively. He finished with 19 points on 9-15 shooting.
The second half was more of the same. Rutgers trailed by double-digits for 19 of the final 20 minutes of the game, ballooning to as many as 22 with 9:48 left in the game. One last run late in the game cut the Buckeye deficit to eight points but it did not get any closer.
McConnell finished with 12 points while Ron Harper Jr. was the third Scarlet Knight in double-figures with 11.
There was no shortage of motivation heading into this game for the Scarlet Knights. They were coming off a blowout loss to Michigan State and had a chance to avenge an earlier season loss in Columbus. This was not a team that came out with that mindset.
Like the first meeting, Ohio State was able to gain an advantage down low. They outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 43-29. Justice Sueing finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Duane Washington Jr. led the Buckeyes in scoring with 17 points.
Is it time to press the panic button in Piscataway? The Big Ten is the top basketball conference in the nation this season and the gauntlet will not get any easier for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers will be back in action on Friday night at the RAC against No. 8 Wisconsin. Their game against Penn State has been postponed. Following the matchup with the Badgers, Rutgers will head to Indiana before hosting No. 23 Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights have some tough games ahead and they will have to make some big adjustments.