No. 24 Rutgers lost at Illinois 69-60 on Saturday in a game that fell apart in the second half. With the Scarlet Knights leading 47-41 with 15 minutes to play, the game shifted soon after.
When Cliff Omoruyi picked up his third foul with 13:54 to play, the game changed. With him out of the game, the Illini went on to produce a game changing 19-0 run. Rutgers missed 14 straight shots over a ten minute period. While the team closed on a 13-9 run over the final five minutes, the issue was never in doubt.
“We played a good 31 minutes of basketball today. Illinois played great the last nine minutes and we didn’t,” said head coach Steve Pikiell. “I am looking forward to a home game. It’s been three on the road here and we’ve got to play better on the road for sure. We didn’t shoot it the way we liked and didn’t execute in the last nine minutes especially. They got us on the backboards and gave up 48 percent for the game, which is not a recipe on the road against a really good team. But you have to give Illinois credit. Their big guys bothered us around the basket. Cliff (Omoruyi) got into foul trouble. They scored points around the rim and they’ve got some good players. Coleman Hawkins was a problem all night. Dainja just started and got them off to a good start. Terrence Shannon is a good player. We just have to play better than that on the road.”
For my game recap, click here.
For game highlights, postgame pressers, my reaction video and box score, scroll below.
Steve Pikiell Postgame Presser
To be added.
Brad Underwood Postgame Presser
AB’s Reaction Video
Rutgers Full Box Score
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