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Rutgers men's basketball remains hot with win over Maryland

Senior guard Paul Mulcahy and fifth-year guard Caleb McConnell led the way in Rutgers men's basketball's 64-50 win over Maryland. – Photo by @RutgersMBB / Twitter

The Rutgers men’s basketball team rolled to a 64-50 win over Maryland tonight. With the victory, the Scarlet Knights (11-4, 3-1) have a five-game winning streak that dates back to their win over Wake Forest on Dec. 17.

The Terrapins (10-5, 1-3) started the first half on the front foot, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and holding Rutgers scoreless through the first three minutes. The Knights were able to fight back with 15 straight points and held Maryland scoreless for just under nine minutes. For the final 10 minutes of the first half, both teams would trade baskets and Rutgers took a 24-17 lead into halftime.

The first half was a defensive battle as the Knights made nine baskets to the Terrapins' six. Maryland committed 12 turnovers while Rutgers committed nine. Junior center Clifford Omoruyi had a strong first half, scoring 4 points and securing nine rebounds.

The defensive battle continued in the second half. The Terrapins cut their deficit to 4 points with 14:27 left when Jahmir Young converted a three-point play on a layup and the ensuing free throw. That would be the closest Maryland ever came in score as the Knights responded by scoring 12 straight points to take a 16-point lead with 10:37 left in the game. 

In the final 10 minutes of play, both teams would go on multiple small scoring runs, but the Terrapins were never able to bring Rutgers' lead to single digits. When the final buzzer sounded, the Knights won their third in-conference contest and their second in as many games.

Maryland shot 41.3 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the three-point line but committed a costly 20 turnovers. Meanwhile, Rutgers shot 45.1 percent from the field and an impressive 85.7 percent from the free throw line. The Knights also dished out 11 assists and blocked six shots.

Young led the Terrapins with 13 points along with a team-high three assists and two steals.

Senior guard Paul Mulcahy had another stand-out performance for Rutgers as he scored 15 points, shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and grabbed two steals. Senior guard Cam Spencer led the team with five assists and followed Mulcahy in points with 13 of his own. Omoruyi led both teams with 13 rebounds. Fifth-year guard Caleb McConnell also chipped in 10 points to go along with two steals and two blocks.

The Knights will look to extend their winning streak to six games when they take on Iowa this Sunday. The game will tip off at noon and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

“It's work. We do a lot of different things, and these guys are able to take the coaching and move the prep around...” said head coach Steve Pikiell on his defense. “They watch film. These guys watch more film than anybody in the country. It shows at times so our versatility really is unique.” 

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

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