Austin Williams - Rutgers Men's Basketball vs. Penn State
Austin Williams puts up a layup against Penn State. (Photo courtesy Rutgers Athletics)

Knightmare on Livingston Campus: Scarlet Knights "Seeing Ghosts" Lose to Penn State 61-46

On Wednesday night, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights squared off against the Penn State Nittany Lions at the RAC. With this being my first time back at a Rutgers basketball game in college and I went in with high hopes, and holy Toledo, did I walk out disgusted! Both teams had trouble scoring early on in the game, with the Scarlet Knights leading 15-9 with a little over 8 minutes left in the half. 

Things got ugly from there as Rutgers went almost seven minutes without hitting a shot from the field while the Nittany Lions went on a 12-1 run to storm into a lead 21-16 with under 5 minutes to go. Cliff Omoruyi finally got the Scarlet Knights off the scoring drought, knocking down a layup after the crowd was fired up after a few questionable calls by the referees. 

That, however, was the only field goal Rutgers had in the last ten minutes of the half, with the rest of the points coming from the charity stripe. With a first-half shooting performance like the one Rutgers had, one would expect them to be down huge going into the half. Luckily, Penn State did not play much better, not burying a shot in the 3:47 seconds of the half while Rutgers chipped away from the foul line. The first half ended with Rutgers trailing Penn State 26-24, with Gavin Griffiths leading the scoring charge for the Scarlet Knights with 6 points. D’Marco Dunn paced Penn State in the first half with 11 points of his own. 

The second half was even worse in Piscataway as Penn State began to pull away. The turnovers began to mount for the Scarlet Knights, and Penn State took full advantage. Rutgers cut the Penn State lead to 37-33 with 12 minutes left in the game after Griffiths buried a three, but that was as close as they would get. As the turnovers mounted, the Nittany Lions pulled away and topped Rutgers 61-46.

The Scarlet Knights had 20…yes TWENTY turnovers on the night and shot a ghastly 1-17 from beyond the arc. It was brutal to watch, but the crowd was excellent; the atmosphere was just as amazing as I remembered, but its product on the court was just painful to watch.

With Harper and Bailey on the horizon for this team next year, it seems that this year's Rutgers team has already turned the page and is looking to 2025. Rutgers travels to take on Michigan this Saturday as they look to bounce back after one of the worst basketball performances I have seen.