Nr. 11 Rutgers suffered its first loss of the season on Wednesday and some of its players have their fingers pointed at the official crew member.
Here’s the thing to do: Despite leading by double digits in most of the competition, the Scarlet Knights fell 80-68 after scoring 29-9 in the last 8 minutes and 44 seconds. The significance of that timestamp? It was when the starting center Myles Johnson exhausted himself after only 15 minutes on the field.
When starting center Cliff Omoruyi was out with a knee injury, it was reserve center Mamadou Doucoure who filled in the stretches Johnson spent on the bench. In 20 minutes on the field, he took four free kicks.
In total, the Rutgers made 22 errors and conceded 29 free throws to the Buckeyes, who scored 22 points from the free-throw line. They shot 21 free throws alone in the second half and accounted for 17 of their 52 points in the second half.
For the full picture, here is some important information: Ohio State committed a similar 20 errors and conceded 17 free throws. Johnson struggled with bad problems throughout his career and participated in the competition an average of 5.1 errors per game. 40 minutes. The Buckeyes have a free throw percentage of 44.1, which is good for the 28th in the country and scores 25% of their points from the free throw line on the season, meaning they also got to the foul line often before Wednesday’s game.
Nevertheless, Rutger’s fans were next to himself on social media, Scarlet Knights finally hit their breaking point on the field. With 4:25 left in the game and the score tied at 61, Rutgers’ bench was hit by a technical foul after protesting the lack of a foul on Ohio State when he contested a Geo Baker layup attempt.
A pair of Scarlet Knights expressed their contempt for participating in the contest on Twitter after the game.
Johnson was the loudest in a few since deleted tweets.
“There must be 3 big payouts in the gaming world tonight as there is no way,” he tweeted minutes after the contest, ending it with emojis from a trash can and a zebra, spelling out that he thought the exercise was garbage.
Junior striker Ron Harper Jr., who led the Scarlet Knights by 20 points, was more subtle and tweeted a simple “Lol” and retweeted a tweet criticizing the official.
Head coach Steve Pikiell and senior manager Geo Baker downplayed their frustration over serving in their post-game press conferences.
“I just have to do a better job with the officials,” Pikiell said. “They were good. They do a good job. ”
“You’re getting emotional in this game, and I think we all got a little emotional,” Baker said. “I want us to give a head start, which we as a veteran team should not do. I don’t feel like the referees really influenced the game that much. We just have to do better as a team. We let the lead go. It’s up to us. ”
One thing the Scarlet Knights agree on: the way this competition ended will give them fuel for the rematch against the Buckeyes at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Saturday, January 9, 2021 – 17 days from Wednesday.
“17 days at RAC no cheating sh–,” Johnson tweeted, then deleted.
Before then, the Rutgers get a few days off for a holiday break. It will then host Purdue and Iowa at RAC and travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. Four days later, the Scarlet Knights host the state of Ohio.
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Brian Fonseca can be reached at [email protected].