Rutgers men’s basketball won its fifth straight game on Thursday night with a 64-50 victory over Maryland. The Scarlet Knights delivered another elite defensive performance and the offense came alive in the second half. RU improved to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play.
After the Terps scored twice in the first three possessions of the game for an early 4-0 lead, Rutgers responded with a 15-0 run. It was a mix of everyone on offense before Maryland crawled their way back into the game. An Aundre Hyatt three-pointer right before the half sent RU to the locker room with a 24-17 lead.
In the second half, Maryland came out making shots and Rutgers was clinging to a 34-30 lead with just over 14 minutes to play. That’s when the Scarlet Knights responded with a 12-0 run that was led by Paul Mulcahy. Once again, the veteran point guard took the game over in the second half just like he did against No. 1 Purdue on Monday.
After taking just one shot in the first half, Mulcahy finished a perfect 6 of 6 from the field for a game high 15 points. His assertiveness, ability to get downhill and craftiness in the paint while controlling his body was impressive in this game. When he took a flagrant foul and was knocked into the basket on a breakaway by Julian Reese, Mulcahy showed a calmness and maturity in regrouping both himself and his teammates. He added 2 steals and an assist.
Cam Spencer played well once again and finished with 13 points including 3 of 6 from three, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Caleb McConnell did a little bit of everything on his way to 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Although Cliff Omoruyi was just 1 of 4 from the floor finishing with 4 points, he was a monster inside with 13 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
The bench contributed once again as Aundre Hyatt scored 8 points along with 3 rebounds while Derek Simpson added 6 points.
Rutgers dominated Maryland with an 18-2 advantage in fast break points. They also were efficient from the foul line in making 12 of 14 attempts.
Defensively, the Terps were held to 41% shooting and committed 20 turnovers.
Overall, it was a mature performance and another dominant defensive game for Rutgers. Momentum continues to build for this team with Iowa coming to Piscataway on Sunday.
You can watch game highlights and the postgame presser here.
Here is my rapid reaction video that includes discussion on how roles are still evolving as well as how the toughness and togetherness of this team gives them a chance to have a special season.
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