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Harper gives Rutgers 48-46 win over Iowa

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Rutgers

Jan 19, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Ron Harper Jr. (24) dunks the ball in front of center Clifford Omoruyi (11) against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half at Jersey Mike’s Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Spo

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Ron Harper Jr. scored 15 points including two free throws with two seconds remaining to lift Rutgers to a 48-46 win over Iowa on Wednesday night.

Harper was fouled by Keegan Murray as he tried to find a way through the Hawkeyes’ perimeter defense. After his free throws and a timeout, Connor McCaffery threw a long inbounds pass to Murray, who made the catch in a crowd but had his 3-point try fall short.

Harper was 5-of-10 shooting, but no other Rutgers player reached double-figure scoring. Clifford Omoruyi grabbed 14 rebounds.

Murray finished with 13 points but on 5-of-14 shooting and had 13 rebounds. Patrick McCaffery was 4 of 12 from the floor for 11 points. Filip Rebraca had 10 rebounds with eight points.

Iowa (13-5, 3-4 Big Ten), just outside the Top 25, had won six of its previous seven games but saw a two-game win streak end. Rutgers (11-6, 5-2) has won six of its last seven.

On a night when offenses struggled and defenses excelled, Iowa scored a season-low total while the Scarlet Knights tied their low. The Hawkeyes, the Big Ten’s highest-scoring team coming in at over 86 points per game, shot just 28% to Rutgers’ 31% with the teams’ combining to make only 35 of 119 attempts.

At one point in the second half when it scored just 19 points, Iowa went over 9 1/2 minutes without a field goal, going 0 of 10, though Rutgers was just 1 of 14 over the same span.

Rutgers committed 15 turnovers, but Iowa turned those into only six points. There were 15 blocks, 10 by Rutgers - three apiece by Omoruyi and Geo Baker - and a combined 15 steals.

A pair of free throws by Iowa’s Joe Toussaint broke a tie and McCaffery added another with 26 seconds remaining for a 27-24 halftime lead.

Iowa is host to Penn State and Rutgers is at Minnesota on Saturday.