Penn State Men’s Basketball At Rutgers Preview

Story posted March 6, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Austin Groft

After dropping a close game to Illinois, the Nittany Lions look to build momentum into the Big Ten tournament against Rutgers.

Penn State led late in the game versus the Illini after a Dallion Johnson trey that put them up to three with six minutes on the clock. They would then go cold from the field making only one of their last 11 field goals.

All season long on the road they have struggled to string together a consistent 40 minutes of basketball. This time a cold stretch during the final minutes of the game prevented them from possibly getting their second road win of the season.

Greg Lee was back into the starting lineup after dealing with a foot injury for several weeks. He scored nine points and added five rebounds. Having him in the lineup is crucial for their offense.

Leading scorers Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy combined for 29 points. Their respective matchups against the Rutgers backcourt will be important for success.

A lot of credit goes to John Harrar for holding Kofi Cockburn to only 11 points and six rebounds. Before that game, Cockburn averaged 21.5 points and 10.7 rebounds.

The Nittany Lions currently sit at 11th in the Big Ten which would have them playing against the 14th seed for the first round of the Big Ten tournament. To get a first-round bye, they will have to win against Rutgers and Maryland will have to lose to Michigan State.

Scouting Rutgers

This is an extremely important game for the Scarlet Knights. A win over Penn State would give them a chance to finish inside the top four in the Big Ten. For this to happen, they’ll need Iowa and Ohio State to lose this weekend.

Despite these results, a win over the Nittany Lions would give them their 12th Big Ten win this season, which would be a program record.

The duo of Ron Harper Junior and Geo Baker forms one of the most talented backcourts in the conference. They combined for an average of 28 points per game. Harper is their go-to guy down the stretch with a few clutch shots this season leading to victories.

Forward Clifford Omoruyi has developed to be a solid forward averaging 11.8 points and 8 rebounds a game. Last year he averaged only 3.8 points and 4 rebounds per game.

The unsung hero of this team is Paul Mulcahy. In the past, he has been a role player for this team, but now he is averaging 8.9 points and 4.8 assists. He got his first-ever double-double earlier this season with 15 points and 12 assists against Michigan State.


Penn State played arguably one of their best games all season the last two teams played winning with a final score of 66-49. In that game, both Harper and Baker were held to seven points each, well below their season average.

It is extremely difficult, especially in the Big Ten to beat a team two times in one season. Rutgers is 13-3 at home this season. The Jersey Mike’s arena is one of the toughest places to play inside the Big Ten and the Scarlet Knights will come out on top during senior day.

Rutgers 63, Penn State 58

Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him please email