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Cam Spencer’s late trey lifts Rutgers past No. 1 Purdue

Jan 2, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA;  Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi (11) attempts to keep the ball away from multiple Purdue Boilermakers during the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Spencer hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining as Rutgers pulled off a 65-64 victory over top-ranked Purdue on Monday night in West Lafayette, Ind.

Rutgers (10-4, 2-1 Big Ten) earned its second-ever win over a top-ranked team — both against Purdue in the past 13 months. Ron Harper Jr.’s game-winning 3-pointer from midcourt on Dec. 9, 2021, gave the Scarlet Knights a 70-68 win over the Boilermakers in Piscataway, N.J.

Spencer, who was playing for Loyola Maryland at the time of Harper’s shot, turned a 64-62 deficit into the final margin on Monday thanks to his decisive shot.

Spencer hit his second trey of the game when Paul Mulcahy passed to him at the top of the key. He pulled off a shot fake that got Ethan Morton to leave his feet and released the 3-pointer before Brandon Newman could close out.

After Spencer’s shot, Rutgers survived the remaining seconds. Newman missed a 3-point attempt with three seconds remaining, and Purdue could not get another shot off.

Mulcahy scored a team-high 16 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists for Rutgers, which shot 43.1 percent.

Clifford Omoruyi scored 11 of his 12 in the first half as Rutgers opened a 10-point lead by halftime.

Zach Edey led Purdue (13-1, 2-1) with 19 points, 15 in the second half, and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Newman added 11 points and Fletcher Loyer contributed 10 for Purdue, which shot 39.6 percent and missed 16 of 23 3-point tries.

The Scarlet Knights took a 13-point lead on a Spencer jumper a little over two minutes into the second half, but Purdue began chipping away and trailed 47-44 on a Newman trey with 10:32 left after Edey made a pass out of the low post.

Purdue finally tied the game when Morton turned a steal into a layup for a 52-52 deadlock with 5:48 remaining. The Boilermakers regained the lead when Newman hit a 3-pointer with 4:45 left to make it 55-54, but Mulcahy’s three-point play put Rutgers ahead 58-55 a little over a minute later.

Edey’s dunk made it 62-59 with 2:10 left. After Loyer hit free throws with 1:17 left to pull Purdue within on, Mulcahy missed a jumper. Following a timeout, Loyer hit a 3-pointer from the left side with 30 seconds left to give the Boilermakers a 64-62 lead.

–Field Level Media