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Hoosier Daddy? Rutgers men's basketball defeats No. 10 Indiana for 1st Big Ten win

Fifth-year senior guard Caleb McConnell and freshman guard Derek Simpson were two catalysts in Rutgers men's basketball's win over Indiana. – Photo by Hamza Azeem

With chants of "Hoosier Daddy" thundering down from the stands, senior guard Paul Mulcahy dribbled out the clock of Rutgers men’s basketball's dominant 63-48 win over Indiana. This was the Scarlet Knights' (6-2, 1-0) sixth-straight victory over the No. 10 Hoosiers (7-1, 0-1) and their first-ranked win of the season.

Rutgers played an extremely physical first half, committing 11 fouls. Despite committing five more fouls than Indiana in the first half, the Knights took a 31-24 lead into halftime.

Fifth-year senior guard Caleb McConnell had a strong first half, scoring 9 points and grabbing eight rebounds while junior center Clifford Omoruyi got into foul trouble early in the half and had to be subbed off. Trayce Jackson-Davis only managed to score 4 points in the first half for the Hoosiers.

Indiana went on a small run to start the second half and took a 37-35 lead with 13:13 remaining. Rutgers would respond with a massive 17-0 run over the following 5 minutes. The scoring run was partly fueled by freshman guard Derek Simpson, who had his best game so far as a Knight.

When Rutgers was up 38-37 with 12:52 remaining, Simpson scored 10 straight points to give the Knights the 48-37 lead. Rutgers easily controlled the rest of the game and won by 15 points.

The Knights held the Hoosiers to 48 points, their fewest points as an AP Top 10 team since 1983. Rutgers accomplished this feat through the team's suffocating perimeter and paint defense. Indiana only shot 24 percent from beyond the arc and had only 14 points in the paint. The Knights were the more physical team as well, securing 14 more rebounds and eight more offensive rebounds than the Hoosiers. 

Miller Kopp led Indiana with 21 points and shot 5-for-9 from three. Despite Jackson-Davis' struggles in the first half, he ended the day with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Mulcahy came back from injury and scored 6 points and had four assists in 24 minutes played. Simpson had the first signature game of his young college basketball career, scoring 14 points and getting two steals.

"Everybody is always talking about the other team. We're used to that," Mulcahy said after the game. "We take it a game at a time. We don’t look at what the past has been. We are locked in on Ohio State now, and they'll talk about Ohio State, and that’s what it is. I love this team."

The atmosphere in Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus was deafening all throughout the game, something that Hoosiers head coach Mike Woodson acknowledged.

"This is my first trip to Rutgers. It wasn’t real pleasant. They got great fans supporting," said Woodson.

Rutgers will look to continue the momentum on Thursday when the team travels to Columbus, Ohio, to take on No. 25 Ohio State. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN2 and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

"I am just proud today," said head coach Steve Pikiell. "The game the other day, I thought we played really well against Miami, we missed a layup to tie it up. It didn’t go our way but today we bounced back … We played really well against a really really good basketball team."

For more updates on the Rutgers men's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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