Corey Sanders scored a season-high 23 points and hit two clutch baskets in the final two minutes to lead Rutgers to 64-60 victory over Wisconsin on Friday night at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.
Sanders recorded his third 20-point showing of the season. The junior guard made 10 of 19 shots and both 3-point attempts as Rutgers (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten) snapped a three-game losing streak since beating Seton Hall on Dec. 16
His two big shots occurred after Wisconsin forged a 53-53 deadlock with 2:03 remaining on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Brad Davison to cap a 7-0 run.
Following Davison’s shot, Sanders gave Rutgers the lead for good with a mid-range jumper with 1:53 remaining. After a missed 3-pointer by Wisconsin’s Brevin Pritzl and a missed layup by Nate Reuvers, Sanders made it 58-53 with a long 3-pointer over Ethan Happ with 54 seconds remaining.
Senior forward Deshawn Freeman added 15 points for Rutgers, which shot 46.3 percent (25 of 54) and did not trail for the final 13 1/2 minutes.
Davison and Pritzl led the Badgers (9-8, 2-2) with 13 points apiece. Happ added 10 points and 10 rebounds but also committed a career-worst seven turnovers, and Reuvers scored 10 points.
Wisconsin held a 36-24 advantage in the paint and shot 48.9 percent (23 of 47). The Badgers missed their first 11 3-point attempts, finished 2 of 13 from behind the arc and committed 14 turnovers.
Rutgers never trailed after Sanders hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 13:37 remaining for a 36-35 lead. Sanders’ 3-pointer was part of a 9-0 run when Wisconsin went scoreless for a little over three minutes.
The Badgers cut the lead to one on two occasions, but Rutgers held a 53-46 edge when Eugene Omoruyi stole Davison’s pass with 3:45 left and Freeman converted a dunk three seconds later.
Sanders scored 10 points in a slow-paced first half, which ended with Rutgers taking a 25-24 lead. Sanders made 5 of 11 shots before the break, including a short jumper near the baseline in the final seconds of the half.
--Field Level Media