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Cannonball Cam! Rutgers men's basketball takes down Northwestern with another game winner

Senior guard Cam Spencer helped lead the Scarlet Knights to victory with a 23-point performance and a game-winning three-pointer with 15 seconds left. – Photo by @RutgersMBB / Twitter

The Rutgers men’s basketball team defeated Northwestern 65-62 on Wednesday night. The win gave the Scarlet Knights (12-5, 4-2) their second Big Ten road win of the season.

Senior guard Cam Spencer provided the heroics once again, nailing what would be the game-winning three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining to put Rutgers up by a point. Spencer led the Knights in scoring, putting up a season high 23 points including a career-high six three-pointers made. He scored the last 5 points of the game for Rutgers.

The Knights got off to a strong start, holding a five point lead for much of the opening minutes of the first half. The Wildcats (12-4, 3-2) fought hard to keep the game within single digits in the opening stanza, only allowing Rutgers to take a double-digit lead once. Northwestern used a 7-2 run in the final two minutes of the first half to cut the lead to 5 points heading into halftime.

It was a largely clean game throughout the first period with the Knights not picking up their first foul until almost six minutes remaining in the half. There were two technical fouls called in the first half on each team - both on flops - by Chase Audige and senior guard Paul Mulcahy. Mulcahy wound up picking up another flop technical in the second half. 

Mulcahy was once again called on to help win the game after he scored a career-high 31 points against the Wildcats last year. He scored 12 points, along with grabbing six rebounds and dishing six assists in the contest.

The fouls began to pile up in the second half as Rutgers was whistled for 12 fouls in the period. Northwestern, fourth in the Big Ten in free throw percentage at 75%, shot just 7-13 from the charity stripe in the second half.

Junior forward Aundre Hyatt was the only other Knight to reach double figures, scoring 10 points off the bench. Junior forward Mawot Mag played well, notching 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, but only played 15 minutes due to foul trouble.

Rutgers held on to a slim lead through much of the second half. The Wildcats took their first lead of the game on a driving layup by Audige, as part of a 10-0 scoring run for Northwestern. The teams then traded baskets for the rest of the game.

Audige was one of three Wildcats to score in double figures, joining Boo Buie and Ty Berry. Berry banked in a three-point shot from over five feet behind the three-point line to give Northwestern a 62-58 lead with one minute remaining, but it was the last points the Wildcats would score on the night. The Knights closed the game on a 7-0 scoring run.

Rutgers will be back in action on Sunday as it looks to get revenge at home against Ohio State after December’s controversial road loss. The game will tip off at 2:15 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

“We space the floor out and we put the ball in Paul’s hands,” said Pikiell about Mulcahy's pass that set up Spencer’s game winner. “He makes really good decisions, so it could’ve went anywhere. I feel confident in all my players. Whoever was open, was ready to go”.

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

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