It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the second half and the first half. Rutgers got one of the road wins they needed.
Second Half Dominance: After a first half where Rutgers was sleeping, and Maryland was pushing them around, the Scarlet Knights woke up. They outscored Maryland 43-21 and completely shut down the players who were giving them problems. Fats Russell was a gnat in the first half, but the Scarlet Knights swatted him away. Once Rutgers was able to wrestle a four point lead midway through the half, the Terrapins put up a little fight and then eventually sank away. They won this game on the hustle and defense of the team.
Paul “Two Halves” Mulcahy: No one was illustrated the two halves more than Paul. Mulcahy was sloppy with the ball in the first half. Russell picked his pocket twice, Paul was indecisive at times and just could never get rolling. But in the second half, he turned it around. Paul finished with 15 points, 11 in the second half. He had six rebounds and 3 assists. It was a banner half and the team relaxed once Paul was getting floor burns diving after it.
As #RonFire Goes: Man, is Ron Harper Jr. good. 31 points, 6-8 from 3 and 5-6 from the line. He flat out took over the game and pushed the Scarlet Knights to the road victory they needed. He even fired off a heck of a quote afterward: “Let’s get one thing straight: we’re not coming out here to get a road win so fans stop talking about it. We come out here to get a road win because we want to compete to win the league.” (Thanks Brian Fonseca). Harper and Geo Baker were dominant down the stretch—Geo making incredible passes finding Paul, Ron and Caleb McConnell in key spots to ice the game.
Mission Accomplished: Rutgers had to go 1-1 this week at minimum. They did it the hard way, but they did it. Now they have to keep it going. 4-2 in the Big Ten win a matchup against a top 25 Iowa team coming to town. Iowa hasn’t visited the RAC with fans in attendance since that miracle shot. The fans should remember that and be loud. The season is still alive. Get to the RAC (okay, fine JMA) on Wednesday and be loud.