Scaife has 19, victor as Rutgers women top Purdue in Big Ten

Scaife has 19, victor as Rutgers women top Purdue in Big Ten

The Cream and Crimson open their Big Ten Tournament campaign Thursday night against Rutgers at Madison Square Garden.

NEW YORK (AP) - For the first time since joining the Big Ten, Rutgers looks as if it belongs.

Rutgers, who finished 14th in conference over the course of the season, is still playing into the third round of the Big Ten Tournament thanks to upsets over No. 11-seeded Minnesota and No. 6-seeded Indiana. The 14th-seeded Scarlet Knights (15-18) face third seed and No. 8 Purdue at Madison Square Garden in the final game of Friday's quadruple-header. "People say that's harder to do than win the Big Ten, because three games in three days is hard to do".

The Hoosiers (16-15) made only 36 percent of their field goals and 26 percent of their 3-point attempts and never had a lead in the second half despite dominating the first 10 minutes of the game.

"I don't think we did a good enough job of keeping our foot on the gas once we had them down in that type of situation, " said IU senior guard Robert Johnson. "This is March Madness, man".

Everything changed Thursday when IN (16-15) jumped out to a 24-8 lead only to watch the Scarlet Knights close the first half on a 21-4 run to lead 29-28. Juwan Morgan led IN with 15. Back-to-back buckets by Sanders had Rutgers up by three and Geo Baker's 3 from the left wing made it 56-50 for the Scarlet Knights with 5:12 left.

It was also the first time in history that Rutgers had beaten Indiana.

Sanders had 23 points in a victory against Minnesota on Wednesday night.

"And Corey was terrific again, " Pikiell said.

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It is the first time Rutgers has won two conference tournament games since reaching the Big East semifinals in 1998.

That's what happens when you lose to a team that won just three out of 18 conference games this season and dropped non-conference games to teams like Stony Brook and Hartford.

The Hoosiers raced out to a 24-8 lead, getting to the basket easily.

Rutgers shot 58 percent from the field for the game and 68 percent in the second half.

"I think we were shooting 11 percent at the time and I looked up and they were shooting like 54 percent at that time", Sanders said. "It was not so much shooting because if we were getting stops we would have got out and our offense would have been flourishing, but we didn't get those". The Scarlet Knights closed with a 17-2 run and led 29-28 at halftime.

ยท Rutgers shreds IN defense: The Scarlet Knights had the Big Ten's worst offense IN conference play, but you'd never know it based on their performance on Thursday.

Sure, Rutgers was in the NY media market, but did the Scarlet Knights really move the needle in a city dominated by pro sports? Rutgers lost to Purdue by 31 on the road and by two - 78-76 - at home. Coach Steve Pikiell may have brought this program to the moment that it can be a player in this Big Ten Tournament. Rutgers vs Purdue tv channel schedule is on BTN.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights lost twice to Purdue in the regular season, getting blown out in West Lafayette, Indiana, but losing at home by only two.

"We have an opportunity, with this being the best team we've been on, to make some noise and to do well".

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