PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Sophomore guard Brooks Barnhizer came off the bench to score 16 points and grab 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, leading Northwestern to a 65-53 victory over Rutgers on Sunday night for a school-record 12th Big Ten Conference win.
Northwestern (21-10, 12-8) ended a three-game losing streak and finished the regular season in a tie with No. 15 Indiana for second place in coach Chris Collins’ 10th season with the Wildcats. Northwestern surpassed the 11 wins of the 1930-31 Wildcats, who won the school’s only outright conference title. The program record for wins in a season is 24, set in 2016-17. That team earned Northwestern’s lone trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Barnhizer made 7 of 12 shots from the floor with a 3-pointer for the Wildcats. Boo Buie sank three 3-pointers and scored 14. Ty Berry pitched in with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Matthew Nicholson scored 10 on 5-of-6 shooting with six boards.
Clifford Omoruyi finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks for the Scarlet Knights (18-13, 10-10). Reserve Derek Simpson had 12 points. Caleb McConnell scored just two points, but he had a team-high eight rebounds and finished with six steals. McConnell moved past Myles Mack (211) into second place on the school’s all-time steals list with 214.
Barnhizer scored eight to help Northwestern take a 25-21 lead at halftime.
Barnhizer followed a 3-pointer with a layup to cap 9-0 run and Northwestern upped its lead to 36-24 with 14:10 remaining in the game. Omoruyi’s layup pulled the Scarlet Knights within 38-30 at the midway point, but Buie answered with a three-point play and the Wildcats’ lead never slipped below nine from there.
Northwestern beat Rutgers for the second time in the last seven match-ups, but the Wildcats lead the overall series 12-7. Northwestern’s .632 winning percentage against the Scarlet Knights is its best against a Big Ten opponent.