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The Scarlet Knights survive against Minnesota 76-72 to win fourth straight

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Rutgers got a classic performance from their senior as they took down the Golden Gophers on Thursday night.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Geo Baker has built a reputation where he is known for making big shots in clutch moments. Add Thursday night against Minnesota to the list.

Rutgers trailed 72-71 when Baker decided to take it into his own hands. A step-back jumper with 1:01 left in the game gave the Scarlet Knights the lead for good.

The RAC played host to a game featuring two teams that were in need of a victory. Rutgers was riding a three-game win streak into a matchup against Minnesota, who had lost five of their last seven and two in a row after upsetting No. 4 Michigan.

It was a back-and-forth game all night that featured 10 ties and 22 lead changes. In the end, Rutgers was able to survive for a 76-72 victory. This win marks the fourth in a row for the Scarlet Knights — their longest ever win streak in Big Ten play. They are now 7-6 and over .500 in conference play for the first time since January 5.

Ron Harper Jr. was able to ice the game at the free throw line with four straight makes. Rutgers went 13-15 from the charity stripe in the second half while making eight of their final nine shots from the field.

Rutgers was able to hold the Golden Gophers scoreless for the first 6:05 of the game. Minnesota got hot on the offensive end to take a two-point lead into the locker room. In the second half, they were able to get some breathing room.

The Scarlet Knights had no answer for Marcus Carr (18 points, seven assists) in the second half as Minnesota built a six-point lead. Caleb McConnell (14 points) would lead Rutgers on a 10-2 run to retake the lead with 4:41 left.

From that moment on, it was time for Baker to take over. He scored eight of the final 13 points for Rutgers as they were able to close the game out. Baker led the way with 16 points as Myles Johnson (14 points, 12 rebounds) notched his fifth double-double of the season.

Rutgers (11-6) now sits at seven Big Ten victories after handing Minnesota their sixth straight road loss to begin the season. The Scarlet Knights will see Minnesota on their final game of the season.

Rutgers will be on the road to take on No. 8 Iowa on Wednesday before returning home February 13 to host Northwestern.