At some point, you are what you are — and unfortunately, we know what Rutgers is.
The Scarlet Knights came into the weekend last in the Big Ten in points per game (68.6), field goal percentage (39%), free throw percentage (65.4%), and 13th in three-point shooting (29.9%).
On Sunday, the offensive struggles continued. Rutgers shot just 37.7% from the field and 3-for-14 from three-point range during an 86-63 loss to No. 14 Illinois at State Farm Arena in Champaign, IL. Rutgers is now 0-9 all-time in this arena.
Rutgers missed 13 of its first 17 shots and this allowed Illinois to build an early double-digit lead. Trailing 40-28 at halftime, the Scarlet Knights attempted to claw back in, cutting the deficit to as little as four with just over 10 minutes remaining but the Illini ballooned it back up quickly.
Illinois would go on a 14-3 run to put the game on ice. The deficit reached 20 with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.
Rutgers finished with just eight assists and had 14 turnovers. Cliff Omoruyi was 10-for-19 from the field with 22 points and a team-high nine rebounds. The Scarlet Knights have rebounded well this season but Illinois dominated the glass 46-32. Omoruyi was one of three Scarlet Knights in double-figures, along with Audre Hyatt (11 points) and Noah Fernandes (10 points).
The Scarlet Knights are now 1-8 against Quad 1 teams this season, including an 0-5 record against these teams in the Big Ten. Rutgers will return home to host Purdue next Sunday.
Rutgers is more than halfway through the season and at this point, the offensive identity is created and there is no help coming this season. This was one of two chances to earn a statement win and the offense came out as flat as possible.