PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Ron Harper Jr. scored 28 points, Jacob Young added 24 and No. 19 Rutgers overcame a double-digit first-half deficit to beat No. 13 Illinois 91-88 on Sunday.
Illinois (5-3, 1-1 Big Ten) quickly jumped out to an 8-0 lead, leading by as many as 11 in the first half before going into the break up 41-37.
Rutgers (6-0, 2-0) would get to within one a couple of times in the second half before Harper hit a 3-pointer to give Rutgers its first lead of the game at 49-47 five minutes into the second half. Harper would finish the game 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.
However, the lead wouldn’t last, as Illinois tied it on the following possession on a dunk by Giorgi Bezhanishvili. The teams would trade leads before Harper had a dunk on a fastbreak midway through the half to make it 54-53. The Scarlet Knights would never give up the lead, going up by as many as 12.
Ayo Dosunmu led Illinois with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Kofi Cockburn had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Illini, while Trent Frazier added 19 points and five assists.
Myles Johson added nine points and 13 rebounds. Montez Mathis chipped in with 15 points.