Rutgers is getting good at this.
The Scarlet Knights, for the second straight season, have stunned top-ranked Purdue.
Rutgers, thanks to a clutch 3-pointer from Cam Spencer in the final seconds, knocked off No. 1 Purdue 65-64 on Monday night in West Lafayette, Indiana. The win followed last season’s incredible half-court buzzer-beater win over the Boilermakers in New Jersey.
The loss is now Purdue’s first of the season, leaving just No. 21 New Mexico as the country’s remaining undefeated team. It will undoubtedly drop the Boilermakers from the No. 1 ranking next week, a post they’ve held for nearly a month.
“We know what’s coming. What Rutgers did tonight didn’t shock us,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said, via ESPN. “If we were going to war, we’d stop by New Jersey and pick them up.”
Rutgers led for most of the way on Monday night at Mackey Arena, and even held a double-digit lead at halftime. The Boilermakers finally got back in it under the five-minute mark in the second half off a clutch Brandon Newman 3-pointer — which was their first lead in the game since the opening minutes.
After a bit of a back and forth, Purdue freshman Fletcher Loyer then drilled a 3-pointer of his own to give the Boilermakers the lead once again with nearly 30 seconds left in the game.
That’s when Spencer dropped in.
Spencer caught a pass at the top of the key and executed a shot fake perfectly before hitting his go-ahead 3-pointer — which proved to be enough to give the Scarlet Knights the one-point win.
"He played well the entire game, and he's not just a shooter," Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said of Spencer, via ESPN. "He leads the league in steals and he does a lot for us. At the end, he's like, 'I'm making that.' He's a very confident kid."
Purdue star Zach Edey finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Newman added 11 points off the bench. Loyer was the only other Boilermakers player to score in double figures in the loss, and the team shot less than 40% from the field.
Paul Mulcahy led Rutgers with 16 points and eight rebounds, and center Clifford Omoruyi added 12 points and six rebounds. Spencer finished with 14 points, and went 2-of-4 from behind the arc.
Rutgers has now won four straight as Big Ten play gets going. The Scarlet Knights also have a blowout win over Indiana under their belt, and they suffered a one-point loss to Ohio State nearly a month ago.
"We're three games into the best league in the country," said Pikiell, who picked up his 300th career win on Monday night, via ESPN. "We're good, but it's a long, long season."