Unranked Rutgers knocks off No. 1 Purdue for second year in a row


Cam Spencer’s 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds left gave Rutgers the lead and No. 1 Purdue failed to convert on its final two chances Monday night as the Scarlet Knights held on for a shocking 65- 64.

It’s the second year in a row that coach Steve Pikiell’s team has upset top-ranked Purdue. Last year, the Scarlet Knights needed a halfcourt buzzer on their home court to get the school’s first win over a top-ranked team.

This time Rutgers (10-4, 2-1 Big Ten) did it in front of the 49th consecutive crowd at Mackey Arena.

Spencer finished with 14 points, while Paul Mulcahy had 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

The Boilermakers (13-1, 2-1) were led by Zach Edey, who overcame early foul trouble to finish with 19 points and 10 rebounds. It wasn’t enough to close out an incredible second-half rally with a 10-point deficit. New Mexico is now the last remaining undefeated team in Division I.

Rutgers controlled the game most of the night, taking a 34-24 halftime lead and holding off the Boilermakers as they charged. Purdue tied the score at 52, eventually taking the lead on Brandon Newman’s tie-breaking 3-pointer with 4:45 to play.

Mulcahy answered with the Scarlet Knights’ next 10 points, which gave Rutgers a 62-57 lead with 2:22 to play. Purdue responded with four straight to make it 62-61 and when Mulcahy missed a short jumper with 54 seconds left, Edey grabbed the rebound, Purdue called a timeout and freshman Fletcher Loyer hit the go-ahead 3 29.8 seconds to go.

But Spencer made his 3 after another timeout and then saw Newman miss a 3. And after Rutgers turned it over on a layup with 0.4 seconds left, the Boilermakers didn’t to be able to bring the ball to Edey for a final shot.

BIG PICTURE

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have reached incredible heights under Coach Pikiell. They’ve beaten 14 ranked opponents, upset a No. 1 team for the first time in school history, and now they’ve done it again. Clearly, the Scarlet Knights seem bound to make a school-record third straight in the NCAA tournament.

Purdue: Coach Matt Painter’s team was poised to match the best start in school history, but Rutgers’ suffocating defense got in the way again. The Boilermakers had won 34 straight over unranked foes at home or on neutral courts. But this one was neither easy nor pretty and they fell short.

UNTIL THE NEXT

Rutgers: Homecoming Thursday against Maryland.

Purdue: Faces a big road test Thursday at No. 24 Ohio State.

Report from The Associated Press.

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