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Rutgers avoids hangover, dominates defensively against Maryland

The Scarlet Knights did not let down following its win over Purdue.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers showed on Monday night that defense travels — and it’s pretty good at home as well.

The Scarlet Knights used a similar formula on Thursday night as it did in its victory over Purdue. Rutgers dominated on the defensive end early to take control during a 64-50 triumph over Maryland at Jersey Mike’s Arena. This marks the Scarlet Knights’ fifth consecutive victory and the first time they defeated the Terps at home since 2019.

Rutgers (11-4, 3-1) held Maryland (10-5, 1-3) to just 17 points in the first half. Despite a slow start themselves, the Scarlet Knights led by seven at the break by forcing 12 turnovers and holding Maryland to 6-for-24 from the field.

Over the course of the night, Maryland turned the ball over 20 times and made just 19 field goals. The Terps entered the night averaging 72.6 points per game. By allowing just 50, Rutgers has now held 15 straight opponents under their average output.

Maryland scored the first four points of the night before Rutgers answered with 15 of its own. This would be a trend over the course of the night as the Scarlet Knights had an answer every time Maryland tried to climb back in.

In the second half, the Terps were able to cut it to four but Paul Mulcahy (15 points) led a 17-3 run to help Rutgers put the game away. Cam Spencer added 13 points as the backcourt for the Scarlet Knights is playing with confidence at an all-time high.

Rutgers will be back in action on Sunday against a struggling Iowa team. The raucous crowd at Jersey Mike’s Arena will have another chance to lead their Knights and help Rutgers really solidify its spot in the Big Ten race.