The Scarlet Knights were in State College tonight. The offense was not.
Rutgers struggled from the opening minutes and could not get anything going over the course of 40 minutes against Penn State. The Scarlet Knights shot just 33.9% from the floor during a 66-49 wire-to-wire loss to the Nittany Lions on Tuesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
It took Rutgers (9-6, 3-2) until the seven-minute mark to reach double-digit points and it came on a Cliff Omoruyi layup. The big man was the only Scarlet Knight to finish in double-figures with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Ron Harper Jr. and Geo Baker scored seven points each on 5-for-21 from the field. The Penn State defense gave Rutgers fits early on and it continued for the duration of the contest.
Penn State built a 13-point lead in the first half after Rutgers missed nine of its first 11 shots. The Scarlet Knights got within four with two minutes to play in the first half but the Nittany Lions scored the final four points of the half to regain control.
The lead hovered around eight in the second half but there was no real feeling that Rutgers could get over the hump in this one. Rutgers turned the ball over 15 times and finished with just 10 assists.
This loss snaps a four-game win streak for Rutgers and comes after they could not miss against Nebraska on Saturday. The struggles on the road continue for the Scarlet Knights and remain winless away from Jersey Mike’s Arena.
If Rutgers wants to get on the bubble and have a shot at March, it begins with winning on the road. This will be key down the stretch if the Scarlet Knights want to return to the NCAA Tournament. There will be some winnable road games coming up and the next one is at Maryland on Saturday.
It was said after the win over Nebraska that a team making some shots looks like a good team. If a team is misfiring, it can look putrid and that was the case on Tuesday night. Onto College Park.