I was a little surprised by Yeboah’s performance. On his 18th career assist, he played about eight seconds at the free throw line, made all four free throws and finished with seven points and six assists.. “I never really thought it would come to that,” said Rutgers guard Anthony Lee. “When I saw his post in, I thought it was a good shot.”
After a missed layup by Nebraska, the Scarlet Knights went on the offensive to take back the lead. Rutgers forward Deyonta Davis took advantage of a misplayed play set up by a missed Princeton shot from the corner. Rutgers’ other leading scorer, Jarell Eddie, was held to two points. Senior forward John Triano made all five of his field goals (which, of course, come in three-point shooting, are usually the only way Princeton can win) with three, two, one, two free throws, and a block en route to being named most valuable player.
The game ended with a close game with nine points each spent in extra periods. Rutgers was one of seven teams to hit a three-pointer in overtime, although its lone attempt ended with a steal, and had a chance to win in overtime with a free throw to tie or win the game. It ended at 75-73.
The two teams were split at the charity stripe, with the Scarlet Knights getting nine points on 6-10 shooting while the Huskers had just two points on 4-10 shooting.The two teams played well throughout the game, with Rutgers outscoring the Huskers 58-31 in the paint to 10-14 in transition, and the Scarlet Knights outshooting Nebraska 47-32 in the paint, including 8-9 in the last 10-23 seconds. In addition, the Scarlet Knights hit 6-4 free throws and scored 13 points off points from the two-point line.
Although Rutgers outshot Nebraska by 11 shots, a poor defensive effort by the Huskers and their missed free throws cost the Scarlet Knights the game in overtime. The Scarlet Knights controlled the possession in overtime, even controlling the basketball, controlling the ball and not letting the Huskers go anywhere, but the Scarlet Knights had to grind out a victory to even have a chance to advance to the Big Ten tournament.
Rutgers’ players said they are just taking it one game at a time in getting ready for next week’s Big Ten Tournament in New York, which is what they did against Nebraska and they will do when facing Minnesota at home this week.”It was a great win, but we’re just going to be ready for Indiana next week,” said guard John Triano. “It was a great win, but it’s a game right now we can use some more. We just have got to get ready for Minnesota.”
After facing their own fans, the Huskers took their seat in the bleachers and walked back over to the end of the court to see how much fun they were having with the students, before walking back to their locker rooms. When they left after the victory, several players expressed their excitement to find out that the U.S. national team would be playing the next day. That’s when Rutgers’ players were let out of their suit jackets so they weren’t caught watching Nebraska, to put that up to rest.
A good way to reward players for a job well done, and for a good game, is, as the players noted at the end of the game, to get out and enjoy yourself, and not put on that jersey.
I’ll put it to you this way, if you would have told me it would be a three-pointer to put the Huskers up by as many as nine in the final twenty-three seconds, I would have laughed in your face, but with 10 seconds left I thought you were a liar. I wish nothing but the best for the Rice Owls. We’re going to need some more production from the Rutgers men’s basketball program this year.
In our previews for this year’s Rose Bowl, we took into consideration each team’s previous win, how much of a shot they were taking on the offensive end, and how that shot would affect how they performed at home. If the Rutgers Scarlet Knights keep scoring at the same rate they did against Nebraska, they’ll be in tough against Indiana’s guard unit.