Coming into this game, Rutgers had only one road win on the season and the Scarlet Knights Tournament chances were falling fast. Rutgers have been in a position where they need probably one win to make the NCAA Tournament but they had been unable to get that win. The game started out with a very Penn State feel, as the Nittany Lions were rebounding well following a two-game losing streak. The Nittany Lions had built at one point a 21-point lead but things quickly turned. The Scarlet Knights made a miraculous run that put them in a position to pick up their second road win and likely secure an at-large bid as they lead 64-62. With the game on the line though Myles Dread hit a go-ahead three that wound up giving Penn State the win. Izaiah Brockington led the Nittany Lions in scoring with 16 points, while Dread had 11 points including the game-winning three. Jacob Young provided some energy off the bench for Rutgers, as he had 13 points.
For Rutgers, while the loss is certainly heartbreaking, there is a sense of optimism following the game. “That game could’ve got ugly and it didn’t,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. ”Our guys battled and stayed the course.” While the loss certainly will hurt, the Scarlet Knights still have an opportunity to win games going forward.
With three games left, Penn State is in second place in the Big Ten, they’ll play at Iowa On Saturday which is a must-win game for their Big Ten title hopes. Rutgers will play Maryland next Tuesday, they will have a chance to cap off an incredible home season with a win in that game.
Bracketology Effect: Penn State stays put on the five-line following the win. Rutgers drops from a 10-seed to an 11-seed following the loss.
Betting Effect: Covered: Rutgers +5.5 Under 137.5