Indiana locks down late to beat Rutgers

Bloomington, IN ( - James Blackmon Jr. scored 20 points with five rebounds to help No. 22 Indiana in a 72-64 win over Rutgers on Saturday.

Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams each netted 14 points for the Hoosiers (16-6, 6-3 Big Ten), with Williams adding 11 rebounds in the win.

Indiana snapped its two-game losing streak.

"This was a great win for a lot of reasons," said Hoosiers coach Tom Crean. "In this league you can't play anybody by their stats. You've got to play them by how well they're coached and by the capabilities of their players and what they're capable of doing, and just because the Rutgers guys are new to the Big Ten, they're certainly not new to college basketball and they're not new to success."

Myles Mack did all he could for the Scarlet Knights (10-13, 2-8), scoring 24 points and handing out eight assists.

Junior Etou deposited 13 points with six rebounds, Kadeem Jack posted 11 points and Greg Lewis added 10 points for Rutgers, which has lost six straight games.

"There are a lot of positives tonight," Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said. "We competed against a ranked team on their home floor which was sort of a quick turnaround for us from our last game. But we stayed in the game, we competed.

"Losing six in a row, you have to keep your kids upbeat, keep them in a positive mode, you have to keep their confidence soaring through the roof. You can't let them get down on each other or themselves. So it's a different way of coaching. I've had some losing teams and I'm pretty good at coaching those kinds of guys."

Mack hit a 3-pointer to start a 13-5 spurt that gave Rutgers a 49-43 lead. Blackmon buried a 3 moments later to tie the game at 52-52 just past the midway point of the second half.

Blackmon and Nick Zeisloft alternated baskets during a 10-1 run, as Zeisloft fired in a pair of triples to help extend the lead to 64-57 for Indiana with over four minutes left.

Mack then picked up a loose ball inside and proceeded to convert a three-point play which snapped a five-minute stretch without a basket for the Scarlet Knights and trimmed the deficit to 64-60.

The margin was still four when Bishop Daniels drove baseline and stepped out of bounds with 54.9 seconds on the clock. Ferrell hit a pair of free throws at the other end of the floor and Indiana held on for the win.

Rutgers led 15-7 on a Lewis jumper a couple minutes shy of the midway point of the first half.

Ferrell's 3-pointer later on trimmed the Hoosiers' deficit to one, then his layup kicked off 12-2 run that gave Indiana a 30-25 edge. The Scarlet Knights managed to close the gap to 32-30 at the break.

Game Notes

Indiana's bench outscored the Rutgers reserves 26-0 ... The Scarlet Knights, who had made seven of their first 10 3-pointers, ended the game 7-for-17 from long range ... The Hoosiers had a 32-27 edge on the boards.