Rutgers is not a good basketball team. In fact, Rutgers is so not-good a basketball team that even a squad that entered Saturday with losses in eight of its last 10 games managed to score nearly 100 points and set records in a massive blowout win.
Northwestern hit 17 3-pointers, a program record for a Big Ten game, and handed out a program-record 33 assists in a 98-59 crushing of Rutgers on Saturday afternoon in Evanston.
The Scarlet Knights lost for the 31st straight time in Big Ten play, falling to 0-16 in conference play this season with two regular-season games remaining. This after going 2-16 last year, their first as a member of the league.
The Cats dominated in every way imaginable, shooting 53.6 percent from the field on the day and splashing home 17 of the 28 3-point shots they took. Northwestern made more 3s (17) than Rutgers did baskets (16).
The Cats also scored 23 points off 12 Knights turnovers, won the rebounding battle by 20, 45-25, and scored 22 second-chance points. Northwestern got 39 points from its bench and 34 points in the paint compared to Rutgers' 25 and 16 points in those categories, respectively.
The Cats assisted on 33 of their 37 made field goals.
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Tre Demps had a huge day for Northwestern. The senior scored a game-high 24 points, going 8-for-13 from the field and 6-for-8 from 3-point range, also grabbing eight rebounds. He was one of five Cats in double figures. Alex Olah had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Nathan Taphorn scored 13 points, hitting a trio of 3s. Aaron Falzon scored 12 points, all of them coming on a quartet of made triples. And Scottie Lindsey had 10 points, hitting a pair of 3s. Bryant McIntosh scored only six points but handed out a whopping 13 assists.
Rutgers shot just 34 percent from the field on the game, six of its 16 made shots coming from 3-point range. The Knights were 10-for-30 on 2-point attempts.
Rutgers was sunk from the start after scoring just 18 points in the first half. After 20 minutes had elapsed, Northwestern had built a massive 30-point edge.
Jonathan Laurent led the Knights with 17 points, scoring 11 of those from the free-throw line while going 3-for-12 from the field, and Omari Grier was also in double figures with 11 points.
After a five-game losing streak in the middle of Big Ten play, Northwestern has split its last six games. Saturday's win sent the Cats to 18-11 overall and 6-10 in the league. Northwestern has two regular-season contests remaining: Thursday against Penn State and next weekend against Nebraska.
Rutgers is a miserable 6-23 overall and 0-16 in the conference. Its final two regular-season games come against Michigan State on Wednesday and against Minnesota next weekend.