PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Montez Mathis had 18 points while Eugene Omoruyi had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Rutgers past Minnesota 68-64 Sunday night.
Geo Baker made a layup and then hit a 3-pointer to give Rutgers a 64-61 lead with 57 seconds left. Daniel Oturu answered with a dunk but Baker and Caleb McConnell combined to make 4 of 4 free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal it.
After Minnesota (17-11, 7-10 Big Ten) scored the first bucket of the second half to take its largest lead of the game, Rutgers (13-14, 6-11) went on a 9-0 run capped by a fast break layup by Mathis assisted by Geo Baker to tie things up at 37 things up with 16:13 to go.
There were six ties and 10 lead changes from there, the last of which came on Baker’s 3. The Scarlet Knights went 3 of 3 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free-throw line in the final three minutes. Minnesota missed 3 of 4 from the stripe and in the last 43 seconds.
Gabe Kalscheur hit all his six 3-point shots and scored 21 points, while Daniel Oturu had 20 points and eight rebounds, for Minnesota. Kalscheur and Oturu each made 7 of 10 from the field while the rest of the Golden Gophers shot just 37.8 percent (9 of 34).
Minnesota: A once-promising season has hit a rough patch for the Golden Gophers as they have now lost six of their last seven. They’ll have to get back on the right track in the final couple weeks of the season or hope of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid could slip away.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights are a win away from getting back to .500 as they continue to show marked improvement in coach Steve Pikiell’s third at the helm. Rutgers’ six Big Ten wins this season match its total in the first two years combined under Pikiell.
Minnesota: At Northwestern on Thursday.
Rutgers: At No. 21 Iowa Saturday.
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