Pikiell-led Rutgers downs No. 1 Purdue for second straight season

Former St. Paul standout Steve Pikiell and his Rutgers men’s basketball team once again played the role of giant killer on Monday night.

For the second straight season, the Scarlet Knights knocked off a top-ranked Purdue team. This time, Rutgers did it on the road at Mackey Arena with a 65-64 victory. The game wasn’t always as close as the final score. In fact, it was the Scarlet Knights who led by 10 points at halftime, 34-24. The lead ballooned to 13 early in the second half before Purdue began its comeback.

Pikiell could be seen dancing in the middle of a raucous huddle in the locker room following the victory.

“We’re tough. I mean, these guys have been through some wars,” Pikiell said in the postgame press conference. “I’m sure a lot of people didn’t think we could come in here, but I think the group did. They got good confidence. We have a nice blend.”

Pikiell, who played for Jim Calhoun at UConn, has Rutgers at 10-4 on the season (2-1 Big Ten). The Scarlet Knights are on a four-game winning streak.

Photo credit: Rutgers athletics.