Rutgers entered Wednesday night at the bottom of the Big Ten in many offensive categories.
The slight silver lining? The team was set to host a lowly Penn State team that was without its leading scorer.
This did not play a role as the Big Ten’s worst offense hit a new low.
Rutgers shot just 34% from the field, including 1-for-17 from three-point range, during its 61-46 loss to Penn State at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway. This loss drops Rutgers to 10-10 on the season and 2-7 in conference play. The Scarlet Knights suffered its first Quad 3 loss of the season to go with a 1-9 record against Quad 1 teams.
Rutgers finished the game with 20 turnovers, a mark reached for the first time since 2019, and was 11-for-22 from the free throw line.
An ugly first half saw Penn State force 13 Scarlet Knight turnovers and have a 10-0 advantage on points off TOs. Rutgers was 0-for-7 from deep and -8 on the glass. The Scarlet Knights made one field goal with six turnovers over the final 10 minutes of the half but the separation on the scoreboard was just two.
The second half was more of the same — and it got even worse.
Rutgers missed its first six, and nine of 12, attempts in the second half as Penn State opened on an 8-2 run. The Nittany Lions built a double-digit lead with just under five minutes remaining and did so without Kanye Clary, who leads the team with 18.4 points per game. Clary was sidelined with an injury.
Was there a positive to take out of this contest? No. But if you want to reach for one, Gavin Griffiths finished with 11 points on 5-for-9 from the field. Jamichael Davis added 10 points. The freshmen duo were the only Knights in double-figures.
This marks the third consecutive loss for Rutgers and it came against KenPom’s lowest-rated Big Ten team. Penn State entered the night at No. 114 while Rutgers was No. 96.
Any faint hopes come March are now gone. This means Steve Pikiell can put a greater emphasis on developing the young talent that will be around to provide depth next season with one of the top recruiting classes in the nation coming in. As we’ve said before, that does not help this season and it is clear that the Scarlet Knights are in for a long finish to the year.