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Sanders leads Rutgers to 67-58 OT win over Northwestern

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) While Corey Sanders' offense will be shown on the highlight reel, coach Steve Pikiell focused on his star guard's defense in Rutgers' 67-58 overtime victory over Northwestern on Tuesday night.

''The heck with the offense, I thought his defense was spectacular the whole night,'' Pikiell said, adding, `'He was confident and he had a little swagger tonight and that's how I want him to play.''

With senior captain Deshawn Freeman benched, Sanders had a game-high 30 points to lead Rutgers' effort at the RAC.

Sanders, who kept the Scarlet Knights (13-15, 3-12 Big Ten) alive all game, hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime tied at 56.

''I just ended up really open,'' Sanders said. ''I didn't understand how open I was. Shot the ball.''

It went in, as part of Rutgers' 32-13 run to end the game.

Derek Pardon hit his first six shots and had 13 rebounds to go along with 12 points to lead Northwestern (15-12, 6-8). Scottie Lindsey added 19 points and Aaron Falzon - who went 3 for 3 in the first half - had eight points off the bench for the Wildcats.

Pardon and Falzon started a combined 8-for-8 shooting in the first half. Northwestern finished a stretch of 5 of 6 games on the road.

''We won three of them,'' Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ''Went 3-3 during that stretch. Had an opportunity to go 4-2 and couldn't finish the deal.''

Northwestern jumped out to an 8-2 lead on a Lindsey jumper assisted by Bryant McIntosh before Rutgers tied it at 10 on a Sanders layup.

The Wildcats almost pulled away early. Souf Mensah's bucket stopped Northwestern's 12-2 run and left Rutgers trailing 23-16. Northwestern went into the break up 33-24.

''We've been hanging in there in these games,'' Pikiell said. ''And I knew if we just kept plugging away on the defensive end we'd get enough opportunities to score.''

BIG PICTURE

Northwestern: Losers of two in a row coming off a loss at Maryland, the Wildcats need to get back on track with a win as they try to build up a resume to make the NCAA Tournament after making it to the dance for the first time a season ago.

Rutgers: Picked to finish last in the Big Ten, Rutgers is trying to dig itself out of the basement of the conference as they snapped a seven-game losing streak.

BENCHED

Freeman didn't play for the first time this season because of a coach's decision. The senior captain started 31 of 33 games last year and all 17 this year.

UP NEXT

Northwestern: Hosts No. 2 Michigan State on Saturday, at 1 p.m.

Rutgers: Travels to Maryland on Saturday night.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
B. McIntosh
C. Sanders
32.6 Min. Per Game 32.6
14.0 Pts. Per Game 14.0
3.1 Ast. Per Game 3.1
4.4 Reb. Per Game 4.4
38.7 Field Goal % 38.4
33.6 Three Point % 23.0
86.0 Free Throw % 74.7
  Defensive rebound by Candido Sa 26.0
  Scottie Lindsey missed floating jump shot 28.0
+ 1 Mike Williams made 2nd of 2 free throws 35.0
+ 1 Mike Williams made 1st of 2 free throws 35.0
  Personal foul on Scottie Lindsey 35.0
  Lost ball turnover on Scottie Lindsey, stolen by Eugene Omoruyi 40.0
  Offensive rebound by Northwestern 43.0
  Aaron Falzon missed layup, blocked by Shaquille Doorson 45.0
+ 1 Corey Sanders made 2nd of 2 free throws 57.0
+ 1 Corey Sanders made 1st of 2 free throws 57.0
  Personal foul on Aaron Falzon 57.0
Team Stats
Points 58 67
Field Goals 23-61 (37.7%) 24-60 (40.0%)
3-Pointers 7-23 (30.4%) 5-19 (26.3%)
Free Throws 5-9 (55.6%) 14-18 (77.8%)
Total Rebounds 37 41
Offensive 11 11
Defensive 21 27
Team 5 3
Assists 13 11
Steals 2 8
Blocks 6 5
Turnovers 12 8
Fouls 18 12
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST
30 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST
12OTT
away team logo Northwestern 15-12 3323258
home team logo Rutgers 13-15 24321167
Team Stats
away team logo Northwestern 15-12 69.2 PPG 36.2 RPG 14.0 APG
home team logo Rutgers 13-15 64.6 PPG 42 RPG 10.0 APG
Key Players
20
S. Lindsey G/F 14.7 PPG 3.7 RPG 1.8 APG 39.0 FG%
3
C. Sanders G 14.2 PPG 4.3 RPG 3.1 APG 38.0 FG%
Top Scorers
S. Lindsey G/F 19 PTS 4 REB 3 AST
C. Sanders G 30 PTS 6 REB 4 AST
37.7 FG% 40.0
30.4 3PT FG% 26.3
55.6 FT% 77.8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Lindsey 38 19 4 3 0 0 4 2 7/20 3/8 2/3 0 4
D. Pardon 41 12 13 0 0 4 1 1 6/7 0/0 0/0 6 7
V. Law 42 7 5 1 0 0 2 3 2/7 1/3 2/4 1 4
G. Skelly 25 4 3 1 0 0 0 3 2/9 0/4 0/0 2 1
B. McIntosh 14 2 1 5 0 0 2 1 1/5 0/2 0/0 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Lindsey 38 19 4 3 0 0 4 2 7/20 3/8 2/3 0 4
D. Pardon 41 12 13 0 0 4 1 1 6/7 0/0 0/0 6 7
V. Law 42 7 5 1 0 0 2 3 2/7 1/3 2/4 1 4
G. Skelly 25 4 3 1 0 0 0 3 2/9 0/4 0/0 2 1
B. McIntosh 14 2 1 5 0 0 2 1 1/5 0/2 0/0 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Falzon 22 8 2 1 0 1 1 4 3/8 2/5 0/0 2 0
A. Gaines 30 6 2 1 1 1 0 3 2/3 1/1 1/2 0 2
B. Benson 4 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2
I. Brown 9 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
J. Ash - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Hall - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Malnati - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 225 58 32 13 2 6 12 18 23/61 7/23 5/9 11 21
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Sanders 41 30 6 4 0 0 2 1 11/22 2/4 6/7 1 5
I. Thiam 36 10 8 0 2 1 0 2 3/7 2/6 2/2 1 7
E. Omoruyi 39 8 10 3 3 1 2 2 3/6 0/0 2/5 4 6
G. Baker 38 3 1 2 0 1 0 2 1/11 1/6 0/0 0 1
M. Doucoure 10 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/6 0/0 0/0 1 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Sanders 41 30 6 4 0 0 2 1 11/22 2/4 6/7 1 5
I. Thiam 36 10 8 0 2 1 0 2 3/7 2/6 2/2 1 7
E. Omoruyi 39 8 10 3 3 1 2 2 3/6 0/0 2/5 4 6
G. Baker 38 3 1 2 0 1 0 2 1/11 1/6 0/0 0 1
M. Doucoure 10 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/6 0/0 0/0 1 0
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Williams 18 8 2 0 0 0 3 1 3/6 0/3 2/2 0 2
S. Doorson 16 2 2 0 1 2 0 0 0/0 0/0 2/2 1 1
C. Sa 25 2 8 2 1 0 1 3 1/1 0/0 0/0 3 5
S. Mensah 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
J. Dadika - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Freeman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bullock - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Downes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Nathan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 225 67 38 11 8 5 8 12 24/60 5/19 14/18 11 27