Mathis helps Rutgers rally past Minnesota
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Montez Mathis scored 18 points, and Eugene Omoruyi added 14 points and nine rebounds as host Rutgers rallied to a 68-64 win over Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 24, in Piscataway.
Golden Gophers forward Jordan Murphy was fouled by Shaquille Doorson on a game-tying 3-point bid in the final seconds, but he missed his first and third free-throw attempts. Caleb McConnell grabbed the rebound for Rutgers and made two free throws to seal the win.
Geo Baker scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half for the Scarlet Knights (13-14, 6-11 Big Ten), who avenged an 88-70 setback at Minnesota on Jan. 12 by posting just their second victory in seven outings.
Gabe Kalscheur made all six of his 3-point attempts and finished with 21 points for the Golden Gophers (17-11, 7-10), who have dropped six of their last seven games overall and eight of nine on the road. Daniel Oturu collected 20 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
Baker forged a tie at 61 with a driving layup before drilling a step-back 3-pointer with 57 seconds left. Oturu answered with an emphatic dunk at the other end to bring Minnesota within one, but Baker sank a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession with 15 seconds to play, setting up the final sequence.
After seeing its 35-28 halftime lead go by the boards, Minnesota built a 57-52 advantage with 4:45 left as Dupree McBrayer made a step-back 3-pointer and Murphy worked the interior for a layup. The Scarlet Knights and Golden Gophers traded shots at the free-throw line before Mathis drained a corner 3-pointer to bring Rutgers to within one at 59-58 with 2:53 left.
Kalscheur entered Sunday's contest having made 12 of 18 attempts from 3-point range in his previous four games. The freshman guard improved upon his impressive percentage in the first half, as he sank a trio from long range to highlight Minnesota's 18-4 run.
Rutgers rallied after Kalscheur was whistled for his third foul early in the second half. Omruyi made a pair of layups, and Ron Harper Jr. drilled a 3-pointer to highlight a 9-0 run that tied the game at 37 before Kalscheur returned and made a 3-pointer of his own.