By RJ Hampson
February 3, 2016
-Piscataway New Jersey
An outstanding performance from freshman Corey Sanders was not enough to lead the Scarlet Knights to victory. Sanders got the first double double of his career and broke the Rutgers freshman scoring record in the process. He scored 39 points and had 12 assists in the game.
However, at the end of the third overtime the Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 110-103. The Scarlet Knights led the Illini for most of the first half and took a 40-37 lead into halftime. The Scarlet Knights managed to lead the Illini for a majority of the second half as well.
The game went into overtime at a score of 75-75. The Illini seemed to be cruising to victory before Corey Sanders grabbed a rebound on his missed three pointer and then hit one as the clock expired.
The second overtime ended with the teams tied at 93-93 and was a tight defensive matchup. Illinois grabbed its largest lead of the game in the third overtime and won 110-101.
The second leading scorer for the Scarlet Knights was Jonathan Laurent. He scored a career high 23 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Senior guard Omari Grier scored 18 points and knocked down three shots from beyond the three point arc. Senior center Greg Lewis grabbed 16 rebounds and had three blocks.
The Scarlet Knights’ record has now fallen to 6-17. They are still seeking their first Big 10 win of the season. They have also lost 25 straight games against Big 10 opponents. The Knights’ conference record now drops to 0-10 on the season.
On the opposing side, the Fighting Illini were led by junior guard Malcolm Hill. He achieved a double double of his own by scoring 32 points and snagging 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Jalen Coleman-Lands scored 26 points and hit six three pointers.
The Fighting Illini improved their record to 11-12 with the win. Their Big 10 record now stands at 3-7. Their next game is this Sunday against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
In the postgame conference Rutgers’s head coach Eddie Jordan had only positive things to say about the Scarlet Knights. “We played pretty well and I’m proud of them”. “We saw everyone have mental toughness”.
Jordan on Corey Sanders: “He was magnificent, he was alert”. “When you put the ball in your best player’s hands he makes plays”.
The Scarlet Knights will travel to Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers on Saturday. Tune in to 88.7 WRSU at 2:00 pm for the call!