Piscataway, NJ–Rutgers sporting the retro uniforms and warm-ups the throwback to the 1970s, including RU’s 1976 undefeated regular season and Final Four run.
The Scarlet Knights are 11-0 at home and played their first Big Ten Conference game tonight against Indiana.
Rutgers is coming off a 54-51 loss to the now ranked Illinois on Saturday.
But the retro gear and the new swag wouldn’t fail the Scarlet Knights against the high power offense of Indiana.
Senior forward Akwasi Yeboah led RU with 14 points and 7 boards to beat Indiana 59-50 at the RAC in Piscataway.
“Well, tough game. Rutgers deserves a lot of credit. They play extremely hard and that’s why they’re one of the best teams in the league. They really are. They’re impressive with their effort level and especially in here. They get this place charged up. It’s a difficult game. And we didn’t handle the environment early. Thought we did a really good job of responding. And then late in the first half, turnovers. (We) let that, you know, that feeling kind of come back in at halftime.” Indiana coach Archie Miller said.
Rutgers’ 13-4 record is its best start to a season since beginning the 1982-83 campaign with a 20-4 mark.
RU limited Indiana to its season-low in points (50), field goal percentage (31.7), 3-point FG% (10.5), field goals (19), 3-point FGs (2), assists (6) and blocks (2).
The Hoosiers entered leading the nation in FTAs per game (27.3) and free throws per game (18.6), falling well below that mark with a 10-of-12 showing at the charity stripe.
The Scarlet Knight (13-4, 4-2) opened the game on a 12-0 run and led by as many as 17 points in the second half, only trailed by one early in the first half. RU held the Hoosiers to 31% shooting from the floor and 2-19 for the game from downtown.
The Scarlet Knights took a 31-24 lead into the break but costly turnovers made it difficult for the Hoosiers to make a sizeable dent in their lead.
Indiana made it a game late and cut the deficit to seven points but Rutgers sped the game up and kept making buckets. Geo Baker delivered the dagger with a dunk with 1:58 left in the contest. That put the Scarlet Knights back up by 12 points and secured the game.
“When our guys are connected, the voices today — I could see it in the huddle. They were locked in . Coach (Karl) Hobbs and Coach (Brandin) Knight do a great job preparing. We couldn’t defend the free throw line the other night against Illinois. We kept these guys — they lead the country in free throw attempts — kept them off the free throw line. We had to defend without fouling against some really good, elite front court players. We were locked into the game plan. Everyone jumped in, did their thing. It was great. We were connected.” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said.