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Nebrasketball: Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview

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Nebraska v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Nebraska Cornhuskers finish up a two-game Big Ten road stand tomorrow in the garden armpit state to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Piscataway, New Jersey. The game marks the first trip back to The RAC Jersey Mike’s Arena since Jan. 2020.

The Huskers enter the game on a one game on a two-game losing streak after dropping back-to-back games against ranked opponents No. 13 Ohio State and No. 10 Michigan State. The losses moved the team to 6-9 on the season (0-4 in Big Ten action). Rutgers is proving to be a deadly opponent for visiting teams after beating No. 1 Purdue back in December and is coming off a home victory over Michigan on Tuesday night, the first ever for the program over the Wolverines in basketball. RU is now 8-5 overall, 2-1 in the Big Ten.

Rutgers returned three starters and 12 letter-winners from last year’s NCAA Tournament team. That squad went 16-12 last season and earned the program’s first NCAA bid since 1991. That bid means that Nebraska’s 2014 NCAA Tournament appearance is now the second longest drought streak in the Big Ten just head of Penn State’s last appearance in 2011.

The Scarlet Knights are led by Ron Harper Jr., who averages a team-best 15.3 points per game to pace three Scarlet Knights in double figures. Harper, who also averages 7.3 rebounds per game, leads Rutgers with 39 three-points and hit 5-of-6 from three-point range in Tuesday’s win over Michigan.

Senior Geo Baker recently returned from injury and is averaging 12.7 points and 4.2 assists per game while shooting almost 40 percent from three-point range. Clifford Ororuyi is the third player averaging double figures with 11.8 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game.

Tomorrow’s game marks the 16th all-time meeting between the two programs in a series that dates back to 1999. It will be the 13th meeting between the programs as members of the Big Ten. Nebraska leads the all-time series 9-6 (8-4 in Big Ten action), and is riding a one-game win streak in the series after stunning the Scarlet Knights 72-51 last season in Lincoln in the lone matchup between the two programs. The Huskers are just 2-4 in games played in Piscataway, however.


When: Saturday, Jan. 8 at 1:06 p.m. CST/2:06 p.m. EST
Where: Jersey Mike’s Arena (8,000) - Piscataway, New Jersey

TV: Big Ten Network
Streaming: FOXSports.com/FOX Sports App
Announcers: Wayne Randazzo (play-by-play), Rapheal Davis (analyst)

Radio: Huskers Radio Network
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analyst: Jake Muhleisen

Broadcast Stations: KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KKCD (105.9 FM) in Omaha, KHYY (106.9 FM) in Scottsbluff, and KAMI (1580 AM) in Lexington
Also available on Huskers.com and the Huskers app.

Line: DraftKings rates Nebraska as underdogs at +7.5.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights
2021-22 Record: 8-5 (2-1 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
Record at RU: 88-82 (6th year)
Career Record: 285-256 (18th year)

Nebraska
2021-22 Record: 6-9 (0-4 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 20-54 (3rd year)
Career Record: 135-110 (8th year)