Only one team responded after an ugly half on both sides. That team was not Rutgers.
While Rutgers battled through injury concerns and two straight losses, Penn State overcame multiple illnesses in a dominant second half and 60-47 victory at the RAC.
Neither team came to play for the first half of 2017, but Rutgers regressed even more in the final 20 minutes.
“Nobody said this was going to be easy,” said head coach Steve Pikiell. “We're playing the best league in the country. We've got a new group of guys. Keep in mind, now, we just played Seton Hall. Some people are saying top-25 team, Big East champs with everyone back just about. We played Wisconsin with four fifth-year seniors at Wisconsin, 14th ranked team. … Today we come back here and play a young, talented Penn State team.”
The Scarlet Knights (11-4, 0-2) let Penn State fire up with a 20-6 run that included five turnovers and 2-of-12 shooting in an eight-minute stretch.
“We haven't been a good shooting team all year,” said head coach Steve Pikiell. “The turnovers were the issue and we've got to solve that problem. We have to solve it. You're going to have games where you don't make shots. I don't care what team you are. We're not particularly a strong shooting team, but the turnovers are what's absolutely killing us right now.”
The Rutgers defense fired back to no avail, and Pikiell leads the team to Michigan State with a three-game losing streak and the first home loss of the season.
“It's basketball,” said senior CJ Gettys. “Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. As long as we come with the right mindset, we prepare, we work hard, we execute our game plan. We can beat anybody.”