Geo Baker scored 16 points and Eugene Omoruyi had 14 with 10 rebounds as host Rutgers overcame a double-digit first-half deficit to beat reeling Indiana 66-58 on Wednesday night, winning three straight Big Ten games for the first time.
The Hoosiers (12-9, 3-7 in Big Ten) have dropped seven in a row — their longest slide since losing the final nine games of the 2010-11 season. Indiana’s last victory came on Jan. 3 over Illinois, when it was ranked 21st in the country and riding a season-high seven-game winning streak.
Indiana made four of its first five field-goal attempts Wednesday night and led by as many as 10 points over the first 20 minutes. However, the Scarlet Knights (11-9, 4-6 in Big Ten) shook off some early shooting woes and overall sloppy play to finish the first half on a 9-0 run. It also helped that Hoosiers stars Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford spent time on the bench, each with two fouls.
Rutgers then scored the first 13 points of the second half to take control and secure its longest league winning stretch since 2003-04, when it was part of the Big East. The Scarlet Knights, who began their streak with a comeback win over Nebraska on Jan. 21, then posted a victory at Penn State last weekend, owned a 50-34 advantage on the glass.
Omoruyi has 25 points in the last two games after totaling eight in his previous two.
Langford had 20 points and Morgan added 15 for Indiana, which shot 35 percent overall and went 6 of 23 from 3-point range while losing at Rutgers for the first time in four games. The Hoosiers played without guard Devonte Green (8.0 points per game, 3.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists) for a third contest due to suspension and key 6-foot-10 reserve De’Ron Davis because of an ankle injury.
Things won’t get an easier for Indiana, which returns to action Saturday at No. 6 Michigan State. Rutgers, meanwhile, will hit the road to face Ohio State on Saturday.
—Field Level Media