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12/22 Big Ten Recap: Rutgers Wins Third Straight

Recap all the Big Ten action from Sunday night.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only had one game on Sunday afternoon, which featured Lafayette traveling to face Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights entered the matchup hoping to win the program’s third straight after some losses in early December.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 63, Lafayette Leopards 44

On paper, this game looked like a mismatch and that’s exactly what ended up happening. Rutgers absolutely dominated out of the gate and never looked back. Myles Johnson led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds. All told, Rutgers grabbed a 63-44 win over Lafayette to improve to 9-3 overall.

Sunday’s win marked the third straight for Rutgers, after beating Wisconsin and Seton Hall at home a week earlier. The win also pushed Rutgers to 53rd nationally on KenPom. If that were to hold, it would be the program’s highest rating of the 2000s. Of course, we still have a long way to go before we can seriously consider that kind of thing.

However, we should spend a moment or two talking about Rutgers’ great start to the season. While the Scarlet Knights did make it to 11-1 in 2016-’17 and 10-3 in 2017-’18, it’s important to note that those records were built off weak non-conference slates where the team faced only a few quality opponents. That isn’t the case this year, though. Rutgers has already played four top 70 and six top 150 teams on KenPom this season. It’s encouraging to see the team perform so well against that slate.

Rutgers will now get a week off before facing Caldwell at home on December 30th to close out non-conference play. That figures to be a pretty easy win.