Rutgers knocks off No. 10 Florida in 2OTDec 30, 2011 - 3:50 AM
Eli Carter poured in 31 points, including a key bucket for a four-point margin late in the second overtime, and Rutgers knocked off No. 10 Florida 85-83 on Thursday night.
Dane Miller added 16 points, scoring the game-tying basket in regulation, and Myles Mack had 14, leading the Scarlet Knights (8-5) to their fourth straight win.
Florida (10-3) was led by 26 points from Kenny Boynton and 15 from Bradley Beal, while Erving Walker had nine points but missed a runner at the buzzer in the second overtime.
Rutgers won despite not taking its first lead of the game until the last six minutes of regulation. Still fresh in the minds of Scarlet Knights fans was a 77-76 upset of No. 9 Villanova on February 9.
That game, of course, was decided on Jonathan Mitchell's miracle four-point play with 0.8 seconds left.
"This afternoon I showed them the last time a [top-10] team came into the building, the last two minutes of the game. Our freshmen's faces lit up," said Rutgers head coach Mike Rice.
"I just said this is what happens when you believe. This is what happens when you don't think impossible is impossible. This is what happens when young men are determined to follow the formula and play for one another."
Mack had the first five points in the initial overtime period while Carter nailed a three-pointer with 13.2 seconds left to tie the game at 76-76. Beal lost the ball on Florida's last possession and Mack missed a half-court heave at the buzzer.
Rutgers never trailed in the second overtime after Miller's tip in for the first points. Later, Carter's tough fall-away bucket from the right side made it 82-78 inside two minutes.
Beal knocked down a three-pointer at the other end to draw Florida within one, but Mack countered with a three from high on the right side for Rutgers. After Walker got the Gators within two, the Scarlet Knights couldn't get a shot off before the shot clock ran out.
But it didn't matter. Florida got the ball back with 8.7 seconds left and Walker's driving shot missed, giving Rutgers its second win in six all-time meetings with the Gators.
The only other victory came in overtime in 1972.
The Scarlet Knights also scored a win over former teammate Mike Rosario, who transferred to Florida after becoming the first Rutgers sophomore ever to reach 1,000 career points.
Rosario, who sat out for Florida last season as a redshirt, had five points in his return to the RAC. He was involved in an altercation with Miller late in the first half that resulted in matching technical fouls.
Rutgers' first lead was 55-54 on Mike Poole's jumper, but Boynton scored five quick points to put Florida back on top. Later, Rutgers held Florida scoreless for the final two minutes of regulation as it went on a 7-0 run to tie the game.
The points came on Mack's three, Carter's floater and Miller's bucket underneath. After Walker missed at the other end, Mack's jumper from the right wing at the buzzer clanked off the rim to send the game into overtime tied at 66-66.
Florida clung to a 34-30 lead at halftime after shooting 41.7 percent from the floor, including just 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) from three-point range.
Florida, which played at Rutgers for the first time, leads all-time series 4-2...Prior to Thursday, the Gators' only other losses came to powerhouses Syracuse and Ohio State...Florida has two more games against non-conference foes (Yale and UAB) before starting SEC play January 7 at Tennessee...Rutgers starts Big East play on New Year's Day at South Florida.
- FLORIDA: 83
Final - 2OT
Dec 29 9:29 PM
- FLORIDA: 76
End of OT
Dec 29 9:15 PM
- FLORIDA: 66
End of Regulation
Dec 29 8:58 PM
- FLORIDA: 34
Dec 29 7:51 PM
- FLORIDA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Dec 29 7:05 PM
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- Jay Young hired as assistant basketball coach at Rutgers Apr 11
- Karl Hobbs leaves UConn to join Pikiell's staff at Rutgers Mar 31
- Florida guard Walker plans to transfer after graduation Mar 28
- Stony Brook's Steve Pikiell is new Rutgers basketball coach Mar 22
- AP source: Stony Brook's Steve Pikiell is new Rutgers coach Mar 19
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