PISCATAWAY, NJ – On Saturday, the ranking list reapers struck again.
The Rutgers men’s basketball team (6-2, 1-0 Big Ten) defeated No. 8-10 Indiana (7-1, 0-1 Big Ten) for the sixth consecutive year with a 63-48 win Saturday at the Jersey Mike’s Arena. RU went on a 19-0 run in the second half powered by an 8-0 run from a true freshman guard Derek Simpson to blow past the Hoosiers behind a sold-out crowd at Piscataway in the second half. That run wiped out Indiana’s final lead of the game, turning it into a double-digit lead that the home team would hold on to.
Rutgers has now had six straight wins against Indiana and has won in eight of their last nine encounters, five in a row at home. The team’s first ranked win this season represented wins in five of their last six home games against ranked opponents dating back to last season.
It was RU’s first top-10 win since defeating No. 1 Purdue on December 9, 2021. The win marked RU’s 14th ranking win for the head coach Steve Pikiell. It was also the third top 10 win under head coach Steve Pikiellfourth top-10 Big Ten Conference win since joining the league, and 12th All-time win over a top 10 team.
The 15-point win was the first since a 13-point win (95-82) against No. 9 Notre Dame on March 1, 2003 that RU beat a top 10 team by double digits. The total represented the largest margin of victory over a top 10 win since an 89-70 win over No. 10 Cincinnati on December 10, 1977 (89-70 win).
Indiana entered the game 9th in the nation, averaging 87.1 points per game. Rutgers kept her at a season-low 48 points, her lowest total points since her 44th goal against No. 17 Texas on December 1, 2020. Indiana’s 48 points was the fourth-least for an RU opponent in a Big Ten Conference game and Indiana’s 30 .4%. The percentage of field goals was the sixth-lowest for an RU opponent in a Big Ten Conference game
He played in his first career Big Ten conference game, a true freshman Derek Simpson scored 14 points. The Lenape, NJ native came alive in the second half, scoring his entire goal in the final stanza.
Rutgers continued to play gritty defense and excelled on the boards. The Scarlet Knights overtook the Hoosiers 47-33 Mawot Mag a career high in rebounds at nine. Caleb McConnel recorded his double-double of the season (fifth of his career) with 16 points and 10 rebounds
“These guys did great things,” said the head coach Steve Pikiell summarized. “And we played against a great basketball team that voted number one in the league for a reason. (It’s) a good team win and we’ve had a lot of great contributions from everyone.”
Next up for RU is next Thursday night when the team travels to Columbus to take on state No. 25 Ohio. The Scarlet Knights are back home next Sunday to host rival Seton Hall in the Garden State Hardwood Classic.