On a day where it was all lined up for Rutgers, the team came through with flying colors — and then some.
The Scarlet Knights entered Sunday with revenge on their mind as Ohio State visited Jersey Mike’s Arena for their rematch. The high-energy crowd was ready to avenge an early-season loss that should not have been when the Buckeyes hit a game-winning three at the buzzer. Even Steve Pikiell felt the intensity and was given the first technical foul of his head-coaching career. This sparked the Scarlet Knights and they were able to come away with a 68-64 victory in overtime.
“They just stay the course,” Pikiell said. “Even in the first half, in the locker room, I said I liked the looks that we got. They’re not going. But if we can’t score, they can’t score and that’s how we just continue to grind. Even getting it into vertime the way that we did. They’re really good. That was a really good basketball team. I have a ton of respect for these guys, but down the stretch, we made a few more plays than them and that was the difference.”
Rutgers had four players finish in double-figures, including Mawot Mag (15 points), who hit a game-clinching three. Cam Spencer continues to be a do-it-all player with 21 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
Early on, it was the type of game that Rutgers wanted. It was able to muck it up a bit and use defense to prevail.
“We did a lot of good things on the defensive end of the floor,” Pikiell said. “They’re the most effeicent team offensively in the league and one of the most efficient in the country. Sueing is a really good player. Mawot and everyone that played him held him to 7 points. That was one of our keys today. It takes everybody and everybody was connected.”
Ace Bailey Commits To Rutgers
Of course, following the action on the floor, the Scarlet Knights got some great news off of it.
Five-star forward Airious “Ace” Bailey announced that he has committed to Rutgers. The 6-foot-9 product in the Class of 2024 is ranked No. 6 in 247Sports Composite Rankings and No. 9 nationally according to ESPN.
Bailey, who hails from Powder Springs, GA, had offers from the likes of Kansas, Kentucky, Auburn, Texas, and Georgia. He ultimately decided to join Rutgers and be apart of what is being built.
Bailey now joins four-star guard Dellquan Warren as commits in the Class of 2024, where Rutgers has the third-ranked class to this point. Another four-star prospect Gavin Griffiths is prepared to join Rutgers next season after signing his letter of intent.