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Rutgers beats Wisconsin 58-57: Rapid Reaction Video & Recap



Feb 18, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Derek Simpson (0) and guard Paul Mulcahy (4) walk off the court following the Scarlet Knights 58-57 win over the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

With Caleb McConnell unable to play after suffering back spasms in pregame warmups, a gut check game for Rutgers took on even more weight. Through it all, RU battled and made two huge defensive stops in the final minute of the game to defeat Wisconsin 58-57 on the road. It was a tremendous response by this team after the worst performance of the season just a few days prior in the home loss to Nebraska.

Despite taking a 50-45 lead with under 8 minutes to play, Wisconsin stormed back with four three-pointers to lead 57-54 with 3:36 to play. Rutgers regained its identity with tremendous defense and held the Badgers scoreless the rest of the way. A Cliff Omoruyi dunk assisted by Paul Mulcahy cut the Badger lead to 1 point. On the next possession with the shot clock running out, Derek Simpson made a smart play driving the baseline. Although he missed the contested layup, Aundre Hyatt was there for the offensive rebound and putback. It turned out to be the game winner.

Rutgers held the foursome of Chucky Hepburn, Tyler Wahl, Steven Crowl, and Connor Essegian to just 23 points combined. The four best Badgers average a combined 48 points per game for the season. While Wisconsin saw some great performances from the bench, it wasn’t enough. Wisconsin shot just 33% from the floor and while they made 12 threes, they were just 33% overall.

Another key was offensive rebounds. Wisconsin had a 9-4 advantage, but Rutgers held a 8-2 advantage in second chance points. That was huge in a one point victory.

Hyatt played very well in the win in a bit of a different role. He stayed mostly away from the perimeter taking just two threes. However, he was great defensively in the interior, scored 8 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. He brought Rutgers a toughness on both ends of the floor they desperately needed. I thought of anyone he deserved the game ball. It was the closest we’ve seen anyone fill the role left by Mawot Mag.

Cam Spencer stepped up in a big way and scored 19 first half points to help Rutgers lead 36-34 at the half. He made his first five three-pointers and made another big triple in the second half to finish with a game high 22 points. He added 5 rebounds and played solid defensively as well.

Cliff Omoruyi finished with 12 points on 5 of 12 shooting, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. He was excellent on the defensive end.

Paul Mulcahy overcame a shoulder stinger mid game and returned. He played well in the second half and finished with 6 points, 6 assists and just one turnover. The high pick and roll really worked late in the game.

Rutgers is now 17-10 overall and 9-7 in Big Ten play. They’ll host Michigan at home on Thursday, February 23.

Here is my rapid reaction video that includes my analysis on the win, discussing the heart of this team and what’s next moving forward.

Editor’s Note: I cite in the video it was a Quad 1 win, but Wisconsin dropped from No. 74 to No. 76 today. That makes it a Quad 2 for now. 

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  1. thevinman

    February 18, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    Nice recap Aaron. I also thought Hyatt looked more like Mags this game both on offense and defense. He was aggressive on both sides of the ball. I also like how Simpson didn’t come in and try a 3, rather he looked for inside shots and drove. I looks like we might have finally gotten over the shock of losing Mags and adjusted to life without him.

    • BataliBoli98

      February 19, 2023 at 6:20 pm

      Great point. Right down to the final tip-in. Aundre was versatile on D and seemed to be a constant on the glass. 8 points — 9 rebounds — 0 turnovers = An outstanding performance on the road.

  2. BataliBoli98

    February 19, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    What a game. Tons of great insights in the video reaction. A few things that jumped out to me:
    1) Cliff was literally everywhere in the last five or so minutes. His hustle and instincts on WI’s last possession was incredible.
    2) Simpson’s wherewithal to attack the basket from the baseline and then Hyatt’s timing on the put-back was enormous.
    3) Without Cam’s heroics in the first half RU likely never has the chance to pull this one out. It was clear that he was actively looking for his shot. I wonder if Caleb not being on the floor finally forced him to be more aggressive.
    4) RU did get some help from the officials. Palmquist certainly was moving on the charge call and, more importantly the and-1 that Cliff got was a git.
    5) Again, another game when RU had the coaching edge and it showed. Why WI didn’t run more sets through Wahl was strange and Pikiell’s ability to draw up plays during timeouts was on full display.
    6) Reiber played his best when playing alongside of Cliff. This allowed him to guard the 4-spot and except one time when Wahl bullied his way through Dean, I thought that he held up well.
    7) Paul cannot continue to wait until the last five minutes to be more assertive. He truly is an enigma on offense. That said, his D continues to be very effective.
    Exhale…Go RU!

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