By Tom Canavan, AP Sports Writer
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Montez Mathis hit two contested layups and Geo Baker nailed a jumper with 10.3 seconds to play as Rutgers scored its biggest Big Ten Conference victory under coach Steve Pikiell, a 64-61 decision over No. 16 Ohio State on Wednesday.
The win was the Scarlet Knights’ first against a ranked Big Ten team since an upset of No. 4 Wisconsin in January 2015 under then-coach Eddie Jordan.
Rutgers (8-6, 1-3) scored the final six points and survived a missed 3-point attempt by C.J. Jackson in handing the Buckeyes (12-3, 2-2) their second straight loss.
Mathis finished with 16 points and Baker had 15, with his last shot being his only second-half basket. Ron Harper Jr. added 12 points and Shaq Carter had 11 as Rutgers played most of the game without leading scorer Eugene Omoruyi, who left the game early in the first half with a left leg injury.
Kaleb Wesson scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half for Ohio State, which had used a 16-3 run to take a 61-58 lead. Luther Muhammad gave Ohio State a 59-58 advantage with a driving basket, and then Jackson hit a layup with 2:37 to go.
Muhammad added 13 points for Ohio State and Jackson had 10.
Mathis snapped an almost seven-minute field goal drought with his drive that got Rutgers within 61-60 with 1:47 remaining. Forty seconds later, he gave the Scarlet Knights the lead with a runner in the lane. Baker made his jumper after a turnover by Ohio State.
Ohio State trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but it used a 13-3 run to close to within 31-30.
Wesson was a one-man show to start the second half. He scored the Buckeyes’ first 10 points after intermission to give Ohio State a 40-38 lead. He missed the free throw after scoring inside and Rutgers suddenly rediscovered its game.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes could easily fall out of the AP Top 25 after this latest setback.
Rutgers: Omoruyi hurt his left leg with 12:58 left in the first half and was ruled out a short time later. Medical personnel seemed to be looking at his kneecap. If he is out any length of time, it will hurt.
Ohio State: At Iowa on Saturday.
Rutgers: At Minnesota on Saturday.
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