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Rutgers struggles offensively in disappointing loss: Watch Game Highlights & Postgame Pressers



Mar 5, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Northwestern Wildcats center Matthew Nicholson (34) and guard Chase Audige (1) rebound against center Matthew Nicholson (34) during the first half at Jersey Mike's Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With a second chance to earn a what many considered would be an NCAA Tournament clinching victory, Rutgers lost to Northwestern 65-53 on Senior Night at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights jumped out to a 10-3 lead early but followed it with a ten minute stretch in which they scored just one field goal. It was an offensive struggle all night and ultimately held RU back from having a chance to win.

“It’s the same thing,” said head coach Steve Pikiell. We’ve had games where we really scored. The other day we scored, and our defense wasn’t good, so we’ve got to have both at this time of the year. You got to play good defense and good offense playing really good teams. As you guys can see, this league is a monster, everybody’s good. Everything comes down to a basket or a free throw. We just have to play better and these guys are very capable of that.”

You can read my full game recap here.

For game highlights, press conferences for both coaches, my rapid reaction video and more, scroll below.

Game Highlights

Rutgers Postgame Presser

Northwestern Postgame Presser

AB’s Reaction Video

Rutgers Full Box Score

8 2-9 0-3 4-7 3 2 5 4 3 3 0 0 34 -3
6 2-7 1-5 1-2 2 1 3 0 3 1 1 0 21 -6
9 2-5 1-3 4-6 1 4 5 3 5 1 0 3 34 -5
14 7-12 0-0 0-3 2 4 6 0 2 4 2 1 34 -13
2 1-6 0-2 0-0 0 8 8 1 4 4 0 6 39 -10
12 5-13 0-3 2-3 0 2 2 2 2 1 0 0 23 -11
0 0-2 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 10 -11
0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1
2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 6 0
2 2 4 0 1
GAME PCT 36.4 11.8 52.4

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  1. Thomas Kiczula

    March 6, 2023 at 6:07 am

    I agree with everything you say. And it sure does seem like a mental thing.

  2. RUONE

    March 6, 2023 at 11:42 am

    The late season slide rests on the shoulders of Paul and Caleb. Seniors who have been through the grind. Caleb is the defensive stopper and should have led the defense. Paul should have taken over offensively but he failed and just dribbled out of the NCAAs. Cam is not a Power Five player, despite some game highlights, he is not capable of getting his shot. We are still missing the outside shooter.

    • thevinman

      March 6, 2023 at 4:53 pm

      You can’t be serious about Cam. That guy can ball. Caleb did lead the defense yesterday and was magnificent. Paul is lost.

    • Henry Rutgers

      March 6, 2023 at 6:37 pm

      I disagree with your statement that Cam Spenser is not a Power Five player. He’s the best outside shooter we’ve had since Quincy Douby.

  3. pj43

    March 6, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    In season seven of the Pikiell era, I find it almost laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. I’m talking about the half court offense, of course. But rather than dwell on it, I’ll save my comments for a deep dive into it when this season is finally over, which may be as early as Thursday.
    So, it’s Michigan at high noon on Thursday. Never you mind what our record is when Rutgers holds the opposition to under 65 pts. The reality may very well be that for Rutgers to have even a chance at a win these days, it looks like the defense will have to hold Michigan to under 55 pts, or is it more like under 50 pts? How bad is that?!
    Sad and disappointed for this team was how I felt as I watched this game against Northwestern. You just knew it was over when Rutgers gave up that early lead and so did the team apparently, despite the efforts of the crowd to try to will a comeback. What a tough way to end the regular season on this team’s home court. It’s like a bad dream, isn’t it?

  4. thevinman

    March 6, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    Tough to read any article about this game right now. I just hope coach figures out how to get our offense going before the Michigan game.

  5. BataliBoli98

    March 7, 2023 at 2:52 am

    Agree completely with Vin that reading anything on RU right now is impossible. Oddly, it feels cathartic to write about it. Here were my takeaways:
    1) I’m 100% with Aaron. RU down double digits in a must win game with 5 minutes left and Cam is on the bench? As Joe Benigno would declare: What!?!
    2) Someone who didn’t watch the game might look at the box score and think that Mulcahy wasn’t that awful. He was. I can’t believe how bad he was in the first 30 minutes. Every single shot was flat. Pikiell is far too loyal to him.
    3) Is there anyone on this team that can pass out of a double-team? Anyone!?! That should be something that isn’t that hard to practice. I don’t get it.
    4) 5 shots is partly on the coaches but also on Cam. He’s far too passive at time.
    5) Another game where the opponent had many open looks while practically every shot that RU attempted was difficult. NW probably had 5 open corner looks alone. I simply do not understand how this staff can be wizards at drawing up plays off of timeouts, and on the opening tip, but cannot run an offense that results in better looks. Buie hit a late three off a simple high screen from Nicholson. It was such a simple play.
    6) It was like watching an RU football game. Down ten in the second half felt like being down 20. I never really thought that they were going to make a run in a game at home that was practically must win. Unbelievable. I love Pikiell. I laugh at people who suggest he should be on the “hot seat” for this debacle, but it is very fair to be very critical of how this has all unfolded.

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