Photo by Garret Ewald for The Daily Hoosier

Rutgers appears to be down a starter for Tuesday’s top-25 matchup with IU

The tall task of ending a long losing streak to Rutgers might have become a bit more manageable for Indiana.

Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell said on a Sunday evening television appearance starting forward Mawot Mag will be “out for a bit” after suffering a leg injury on Saturday against Michigan State.  Mag left that game and did not return.

Mag is the second leading rebounder for a Scarlet Knights squad that dominated IU on the glass in December.  He had seven points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes in that contest.

Overall, Mag is averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field.  He is averaging 25 minutes per game.

Pikiell had been going with a main rotation of seven players including Mag.  They’ll likely need greater contributions from reserve forward Antwone Woolfolk (2.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg) if Mag is indeed out on Tuesday.

Indiana injuries were part of the story when the teams met in December, and that will continue to be the case on Tuesday.

In that December matchup against Rutgers, Indiana was without starting guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, and Trayce Jackson-Davis was dealing with lower back issues at the time.  This time the Hoosiers are expected to be without starting guard Xavier Johnson, and possibly Jordan Geronimo, who was in uniform Saturday against Purdue but did not play.

Rutgers has won six straight in the series including 63-48 this season in Piscataway.  The last IU win came on Juwan Morgan’s senior day in 2019.

No. 18 Indiana and No. 24 Rutgers tip at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday in Bloomington.  With a win, IU can pull into a second place tie in the Big Ten with the Scarlet Knights.

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