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Rutgers completes epic road comeback win: Watch game highlights & postgame pressers



Feb 26, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) dribbles the ball as Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Caleb McConnell (22) defends during the first half at Bryce Jordan Center. Rutgers defeated Penn State 59-56. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers men’s basketball was left for dead early in the second half on Sunday night against streaking Penn State. The Nittany Lions had won three in a row and were surging against the Scarlet Knights. After opening up the second half on a 9-0 run to lead RU 40-21 with just over 18 minutes to play, hope was slim. And yet Rutgers continued to grind and ultimately completed a stunning comeback to defeat PSU 59-56 in Happy Valley.

“Our bench was terrific,” head coach Steve Pikiell said after the win. “Derek (Simpson) came in and certainly did not play like a freshman. He got us going and we hung around. I like this team a lot. They have been great all year. We fought through foul trouble, and I thought we had some decent looks. We just stayed the course and I’m proud of our guys. Our defense was key down the stretch, and we made some timely plays too. To be able to make a comeback like this on the road is a really good sign”.

You can read my game recap here.

Below are game highlights, Derek Simpson’s game winning play and locker room celebration, postgame press conferences for both teams, my rapid reaction video and the box score.

Game Highlights

Derek Simpson Game Winning Play

Radio Call on Simpson

Locker Room Celebration

Rutgers Press Conference

Penn State Press Conference

AB’s Rapid Reaction Video

Rutgers Full Box Score

0 0-6 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 5 1 0 1 29 -7
3 1-6 1-4 0-0 0 3 3 0 1 1 0 0 17 -8
13 5-11 1-2 2-2 4 2 6 1 1 0 0 1 36 1
9 4-9 0-0 1-4 2 11 13 1 2 0 1 1 32 12
12 5-11 2-6 0-1 1 3 4 4 3 2 0 1 32 11
16 6-14 0-1 4-4 1 5 6 2 2 0 0 0 28 11
6 2-3 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 19 4
0 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 8 -9
0 2 2 0 0
GAME PCT 37.7 33.3 63.6



  1. thevinman

    February 27, 2023 at 4:08 am

    Gusty is the only way to describe this team. So happy and relieved that they were able to pull out the win. Rutgers closed to 10 points to end the first half but could have folded at the beginning of the second half as Penn State scored 9 straight points to take a 19 point lead. What a comeback!!

  2. pj43

    February 27, 2023 at 4:45 am

    The bible says that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in a place called Bethany.  I wasn’t there to witness it.  But tonight, I did witness Derek Simpson raise Rutgers from the dead in College Park!  And a child shall lead them, indeed.  I can only say, be still my foolish heart.  Just when you thought you saw it all this season, this team writes a new chapter.  Is this fun, or what?  I just don’t know if my heart can stand it much longer, however.  

    Forget that this team can’t seem to get to 60 pts in a game.  Dadgum it, this team will just hold the other team to under 60 pts and find a way to squeeeeze out a win somehow, some way.  You say starters Hyatt & PM only scored 3 pts between them.  No worries!  Subs Simpson & Palmquist combine for 22 pts.  No, it ain’t purty and the half court offense drives me crazeee, as does the failure to convert at the rim, but I just can’t help myself.  Ugly as it can be when watching this team, they have HEART!  And who can ask for anything more?

  3. Henry Rutgers

    February 27, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    As thrilled with the outcome as I am I can’t help but wonder. Simpson, Hyatt, Palmquist. Omoruyi and Spencer would be my starting line up next game. For Senior night against NWU we’ve traditionally started with an all-senior line up but for the next game I’d bring Mulcahy and McConnell off the bench. Of course, that won’t happen so McConnell for Palmquist, and I’d still be happy. I don’t really understand Pikiell’s commitment to Mulchay despite some of the ‘sportsmanship issues and poor performances. One of the telecast commentators even said during the game that the difference between Mulchay and Simpson was Simpson has his head up and is going to score first and dish second while Paul has his head down and only shoots when he has too. Simpson plays with offensive urgency. Give him the start.

  4. BataliBoli98

    February 27, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    With RU down 19 and the announcers desperate to keep some interest in the game they noted Iowa’s epic comeback and I just laughed. What. A. Comeback. A few takeaways:
    1) My patience with Mulcahy is officially evaporated. So, he will likely play a great game against MN. I just don’t get him.
    2) I realize that RU really made a concerted effort to clamp down on Pickett in the second half, but getting literally nothing from him was bizarre after he looked every bit a pro in the first half.
    3) Cliff’s put back in the final minute was a thing of beauty. His athleticism never ceases to amaze. That was a monster bucket.
    4) I have little faith that Simpson will hit wide open threes but I have every bit of confidence that he will hit contested pull up jumpers from 19 feet. Also, his willingness to attack changed the game.
    5) I was surprised that Pikiell left Palmquist on the floor up three in that final possession. I thought for sure that Hyatt would re-enter. It certainly worked out.
    6) While Lundy had an awful game, we all would have been nervous with the ball in the air in the last seconds. What a play by Cam to get the strip that ended the game.
    GO RU!!!

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