Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Short-Handed Scarlet Knights Hang Tough in Loss

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Short-Handed Scarlet Knights Hang Tough in Loss

Article excerpt

PISCATAWAY – Steve Pikiell said it before Thursday's practice. Then he said it again. And a third time.

"With great adversity," the Rutgers basketball coach said, "comes great opportunity."

The message got through. His shorthanded Scarlet Knights seized that mantra Saturday, pushing third-ranked Purdue to the brink before falling 78-76 in front of a sold-out RAC crowd of 8,325.

"You can't ask for a better fight than that against a really good team," said junior guard Corey Sanders, who exploded for 31 points. "We played our tails off."

For a while it looked like Rutgers might register the biggest upset in program history, eclipsing the whopper over fourth-ranked Wisconsin here in 2015. But the difference came at the free-throw line: Purdue made 29 trips and converted 25. …

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