By MATT SUGAM
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) – Montez Mathis registered career highs with 20 points and nine rebounds while Myles Johnson added a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds and Rutgers rallied to beat Nebraska 76-69 on Monday night.
The freshman Mathis appears to have found his way as he now has scored in double figures in five of the last six games. Johnson’s 13 points tied his career high.
Rutgers (9-9, 2-6 Big Ten) went on a 15-0 run and took a 33-31 lead after a Mathis layup on a fast break started by Ron Harper Jr. Nebraska (14-6, 3-5) called timeout with 1:54 left in the first half before going on a run of its own capped off by James Palmer Jr.’s a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to give Nebraska a 38-33 lead at the half.
Palmer lead Nebraska with 22 points, while Isaac Copeland Jr. added 16 points and with eight rebounds.
Geo Baker had 16 points for Rutgers, while Johnson was 6-of-8 shooting and had a key block in the waning moments of the game.
Nebraska: After splitting games versus Top 25 opponents in a win at Indiana and loss to Michigan State, Nebraska received 66 votes in the latest AP Poll ranking them 29th. The Cornhuskers will need to protect home court versus Ohio State this weekend to recover from the loss.
Rutgers: A much-needed win for the Scarlet Knights got them back to .500 and ended a three-game skid.
Just 12 days removed from dislocating his left knee cap Ohio State, Eugene Omoruyi checked in with 14:59 left in the first half. Omoruyi leads the team in points (14.6) and rebounds (7.5). Wearing a big bulky brace, Omoruyi finished with eight points and six rebounds.
YOUTH VS. EXPERIENCE
Rutgers has one of the youngest teams in the nation with just a little more than a year of experience, ranking 318th in the country. The Scarlet Knights have just one senior. With three senior starters, Nebraska averages a little more than two years of player experience – 34th in the nation.
Nebraska: Hosts Ohio State Saturday.
Rutgers: Travels to Penn State Saturday.